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A Powerful 7 Step Process to Reflect on Your Year

By Julie Ann Cairns | Abundance QnA

Dec 11

I don’t know how you felt about 2016 but for a lot of people it was a huge, confronting, button pushing and highly emotional year.

I think many people haven’t even really processed it fully yet!

So… that’s what I want to talk about this week – how do you process and reflect upon the year in a way that is useful, helpful and will set you up for success in 2017?

For me it’s about acknowledging wins, taking the lessons learnt, and carrying all that forward in a positive way.

I use a 7 Step Reflection Process for that.

To start, I’ve got a big piece of paper and I’ve listed out every month in the past year from January through to December. Then I wrote down the big things that happened.

Wow… So. Much. Happened.

I’m looking at the list of everything that I achieved in 2016, and already I’m feeling like less of a loser. Actually, I don’t feel like a loser at all. I got a lot done!

Which is interesting… because for the past few months I’ve felt like I’m wading through pea soup. My energy has been sluggish, I wasn’t firing on all cylinders and it turned out (after I finally went to the doctor) that I was really low in iron. That recent experience kind of colored my perception of the year… I was feeling unproductive. But looking back, I can see that despite my recent dip in energy, I did actually have an amazing and productive year.

Once I have made some notes on what happened, the first step in my reflection process is to ask myself this question:

  •  What was AWESOME about this year? List 3 awesome things that happened in each month of the year.

Here’s my list:

  • January – My education business partner and I successfully concluded a capital raising for a new venture – an educational app. I chose to give up drinking and dating in 2016 so I could fully focus on making The Abundance Code film, which was great for my health and my clarity. I had an amazing meeting with a mastermind group I am in, which helped me get into a really positive mindset for the year.
  • February – I spent time planning and budgeting for the year ahead, which helped me feel more in control of my finances. An insurance claim was settled in my favour. My daughter started at a new school.
  • March – My ex-husband and business partner transitioned from male to female, from Daniel to Savannah… and the story of her transition, the impact on our business and family life, was covered by a major television network in Australia. They did a beautiful half hour story on it called “Becoming Savannah” for a program called Sunday Night, which is kind of like 60 Minutes….(you can Google it if you’re interested). The feedback on the story was overwhelmingly positive, and it has provided inspiration to many transgendered people around the world. Savannah’s transition went well and our staff, our daughter, our family all embraced it. After that, I spent some time at a health retreat with a friend.
  • April – We filmed the drama sequences for The Abundance Code film. We worked with a great director for that shoot, an amazing animation studio to produce the animation sequences for the film, and with a brilliant composer to produce the music. My creative mojo was in top gear!!!
  • May – I continued working on the post-production for The Abundance Code film, it was all coming together! I was featured in the Hay House World Summit, and my interview was ranked #4 out of 100 author interviews in the Summit, which was a huge success for me. My book (also called The Abundance Code) then reached #1 in Personal Finance on Amazon in Australia, and #10 in the US.
  • June – We released the trailer for The Abundance Code film on June 1, and people loved it. We then released 2 more snippets from the film. We were getting thousands of sign-ups to our free screening scheduled for June 21 – 30. When we opened the online free screening, over 73,000 people watched the film during the 10 day free screening period, and the feedback and comments were off-the-charts good.
  • July – We launched the Abundance Code Activation Facebook group, which has grown into a vibrant group of nearly 2,000 members who post inspirational content, and support each other in creating and maintaining an Abundance Mindset. The amazing comments and emails about the film kept coming in from all over the world. One person even shared how they felt the film had stopped them from committing suicide. Wow. I felt humbled and deeply grateful for ALL the positive response the film received.
  • August – I went on holidays to Canada and the US to visit family and friends. I visited my Mom and Step-father, my younger brother and his wife, and I got to meet my brother’s young kids for the first time. I spent time with one of my older nieces and I had an amazing time with friends also.
  • September – I spent some quality time at home with my daughter. I took it easy… I worked on my business and caught up with friends.
  • October – I got a little addicted to following the run up to US election – Oops! However, it caused me to reflect upon the urgent need for more cooperation, more focus on finding solutions, and less focus on conflict and competition in the world. This re-energised my commitment to promoting Abundance-based thinking. I kept on writing blog posts and magazine articles to serve our audience.
  • November – I was quoted in Oprah’s O Magazine! Yay! I met with Michael Maidens (my Abundance Code business partner) to plan out an amazing 12 months of content delivery for our Abundance Code peeps. And I recorded my interview for the 2017 Hay House World Summit (which will air in May 2017), with the amazing Dr Robert Holden interviewing me.
  • December – Well, it’s not over yet, but Michael and I have a surprise gift planned for everyone on our email list for Christmas. I booked a getaway to my favorite place on earth: Queenstown, New Zealand. And I made plans to spend New Year’s Eve with some good friends in Sydney, Australia.

The next questions I answer are:

  •  What am I GRATEFUL for this year?
  •  How did I FEEL about my life this year?
  • How do I WANT TO FEEL in my life next year?I won’t go through all of my answers to these questions with you… I’m sure you get the idea.

List as many things as you can in the gratitude department. Reflect on how you felt about your life in 2016, without judgement. Allow yourself those feelings. No matter what they were, acknowledge and honor them. Then I encourage you to do a little meditation on how you want to feel in your life next year.

Next… I think about how I can apply the lessons I learnt this year:

  •  What did I LEARN?
  •  What could I have done to make this year BETTER?
  •  How can I BUILD UPON the lessons of this year to make next year ROCK?

Take your time with this process. Reflection is not meant to be rushed. Allow yourself to steep in the reflections for the last few weeks of this year. Do some journalling on it. Keep a notebook with you and jot things down as they come to mind.

Finally, when I’ve done all that, I say a little prayer of sorts. I THANK the universe for guiding me and helping my true potential to unfold. I express my TRUST that everything is happening for my highest good, and my BELIEF that the universe has my back, always and in ALL ways.

I hope this simple reflection process is helpful to you.

In the new year, I’ll share with you a different process for setting your intentions for the coming year, for goal setting and for manifesting your dreams.

To YOUR Abundance,

Julie Ann Cairns

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