The Value of Acknowledging the Year

The Value of Acknowledging the Year
As the end of the year comes closer, I encounter more and more people who are barely hanging in there.  People who’ve spent themselves and who are grateful for the respite that the end of term, end of board meetings, end of projects and looming company shutdowns will bring.  It seems that 2019 has been a hell of a year no matter who you ask.
When we get to this stage, I’m always cautious of wishing away time as the Christmas holidays can be so elusive – gone in a flash and a blur as we speed into the next year.  This coming year is not just any year, but the start of a new decade, and that leaves me with a strong sense of wanting to leave behind in 2019, things that are not meant for me or are no longer serving me.
There is no better time than now to ask simple questions that allow us to assess what we’ve achieved as well as what we’d like to put down and stop dragging with us.  I know I often say “pause…”, and as the end of the year speeds towards us, I think it’s extra valid to do so.  In fact, the more pauses we take, the more we’ll allow ourselves to savour this time that we’re granted.
As tired as our brains, bodies and emotions may be, there is no better time than now to, in a very simple way, take stock of what we’ve done with this year – to acknowledge the wins and to decide what to do differently as we enter a brand new decade.  I don’t know about you, but the last decade of my life has been significant.  The life lessons have been huge.  The experience gained has left me a completely different person and I am immensely grateful for that progression.  Progression that allows me to be, do and have so much more of true value, and that allows me to serve and give equivalently.
Before we let this year (and decade) slip away, let’s download it a little.
Whether you do this inside your own head, within your team, or round the dinner table; here is a very simple way of initiating that conversation – and what a conversation it should be.  For as many challenges that have presented themselves, there have been solutions and overcomings.  Some challenges have required us to navigate round, and some through.  In each case, you have risen and are not only still standing, but you have gained ground.  Never again will you be faced with the same things and be as inexperienced.  You have gained agility.  So have those around you, and these strengths are to be celebrated.
If you’re going to be individually introspective, grab a piece of paper if that’s how you roll, and divide it into three columns: Personal, Professional, Financial.  Ask yourself what’s worked and what hasn’t worked this year for each column.  Acknowledge your achievements in each and don’t downplay them.  I guarantee you there are some because you’re still here, and that means you’re moving on to the next level and you’ve done and learned what’s necessary – ACKNOWLEDGE IT!
If you have a team, be they at work or at home, have this discussion with them.  Allow others to appreciate their wins and those of others, and to learn from what didn’t work.  Decide what you’d like to put down and leave in 2019.  What can you give away?  Stop doing?  And, what have you gained that will serve you further in the next decade?  Which are the areas you’d like to strengthen further?  What adventures await?  What’s on your bucket list for 2020?

by Christen Killick

December 9th, 2019

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