New Year Resolution Step 1

Resolve to Reinvent - Reflect

Step 1: Reflect:

This first step is about your life today, how you currently spend your time. Take the time to look back and evaluate your life's experiences, identifying your likes, dislikes, strengths and areas for development. 

Think about how you currently spend your time.  Today, most of us probably spend more time at work and less at leisure.  As we move further along the chronological spectrum, we tend to want to get more balance in our lives, spending more time on leisure activities and less on work.

Over the next phase of our lives, we will likely see the percentage of time we spend in work versus leisure change.  For some of us, that change may be less, however; we can expect that over time, the work and leisure aspects of your life will likely merge into one.

To perform this reflection step, you conduct a self-assessment.  There are 4 sections to this self-assessment.

1.    My Life's Experiences - where you recall events or experiences in your life which were most important to you.  Remember to include both accomplishments and challenges.  Try reflecting on these different stages of your life.

  • Growing up
  • School years - up to graduating from high school
  • Post secondary education or other professional training
  • First job
  • Life in your 20's and 30's
  • Significant events beyond age 30

Create a draft and step away from it for 3 to 4 days.  Did you skip something significant? Remember, this is for your eyes only so be honest.  Don't gloss over something that was unpleasant or stressful or that you might not have handled in the best way.

2.    Review of Experiences - now allocate some quiet time to reflect on each event or experience you thought was important.  Why was it important?  Was it a happy or sad time? Would you repeat it? Why?  Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do you enjoy about work?
  • What skills does it take to do your job?
  • What do you do for leisure, and why do you enjoy it?
  • What leisure did you participate in as a child, and why did you enjoy it?
  • Is there anything missing i.e., something you want to do in the next phase of your life?
  • Is training or further education something that you would like to embark upon?

Summarize for each significant event or experience:

  • How you feel about it
  • Would you do it again?
  • Key lesson or skill learned.

The objective is to identify themes. In reviewing your life's experiences, your objective is to identify those things you liked and did not like, were good at and not so good at, so that you can begin to identify those things which you might want to include, and be sure to exclude, from the next phase of your life.

3.   Identify your Likes, Dislikes, Strengths and Weaknesses - review the summary in section 2 above and note down the following:

a)    My Likes

b)    My Dislikes

c)    Strengths (what I do well and enjoy)

d)    Weaknesses (what I don't do well and don't enjoy)

4.   Validation Exercise - once you have completed sections 1 to 3 above, determine who is going to keep you honest.  Select 2 to 4 friends or colleagues to review and validate what you have documented above.  Then, validate with your significant other, as appropriate.

Having identified your themes, you will be better prepared to take that first step when it knocks on your door because you will recognize it as meeting one of your needs/themes.




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