I don’t know how you felt about 2018 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 2019?
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 get a big piece of paper and I listed out every month in the past year from January through to December. Then I write down the big things that happened. Just bullet points to remember what happened.
Wow… So. Much. Happened.
Looking back, I can see that despite the fact that I may have gone into the year with plans and expectations that didn’t always pan out… I did actually have an amazing and productive year.
Once I’ve made some notes on what happened, the first step in my reflection process is to review it all:
STEP #1: REVIEW
What was AWESOME about this year? (Try to list 3 awesome things for each month).
Also, what if anything, was challenging?
Here’s my list (you don’t have to read it, you can just skip to Step #2 if you want. I just provide it as an example and because it allows me to do this part of the process myself!):
- January – I did an amazing family trip to Paris, Budapest and Canada. So many family connections were deepened, old friends visited, and it was especially amazing to see my 13 year old daughter blossom during the trip. My book The Abundance Code was published in Hungarian, and I gave a speech to 600 Hungarians on abundance which received a standing ovation. I attended a great mastermind meeting in Utah.
- February – My daughter started back at school (in the southern hemisphere, that’s when the school year starts). I had a big win at work with some government funding secured for a research project I was working on. I’d also had a big epiphany at my mastermind meeting in January which really shifted my mindset, so my mental game was really ‘on point’ in February.
- March – I had a big check-in with my ex-husband, business partner and co-parent of our daughter (you may recall my ex had transitioned from male to female, from Daniel to Savannah in 2016). We talked about how life and parenting is going, and our aspirations on that front. We ended up deciding to move to Queenstown, New Zealand as a family! We contacted an agent and listed our two apartments for sale, and started preparations for the big move.
- April – We did a HUGE decluttering in preparation for the move. That was great, though hard work. We styled our properties for sale and started having open houses twice a week. We did a quick trip to New Zealand to look for a place to live over there, which was awesome. The trees were in full autumn colours and the air was so crisp and fresh. I love autumn!
- May – We sold our Sydney properties at auction, both on the same day. The day before that, we’d also bought a place in Queenstown by bidding in an auction over the phone. We were really happy with the outcomes of all of the auctions. So no turning back at this point – we were definitely moving! Our daughter’s friends organised a really sweet surprise farewell party for her that was very special.
- June – We packed up. Savannah and our daughter moved to New Zealand so she could start school there as soon as possible, and Savannah arranged the transport of our two cats, our two cars and all our stuff. I went to the US for a trip that had already been organised before we’d decided to move. During that trip I spent time with my spiritual teacher, Amma, and I met with my mastermind group. All the properties settled on the same day.
- July – I landed in New Zealand via a short stay in Sydney to check in with our team there (we still have our business based there). Savannah and our daughter had been staying in an AirBnB up to that point because our stuff had not arrived yet. Soon after I got to Queenstown, our stuff arrived from Australia and we started the process of unpacking and settling in. We had some good friends come and visit Queenstown around that time, during the school holidays, to do some skiing. Queenstown has some decent winter ski hills nearby. We had some great shared meals and laughter with them.
- August – Wow, unpacking and settling in takes a long time! Our daughter was settling in well at school and we were all getting to know our new town. We took some lovely walks and found some great restaurants. Rhubarb was in season and I started making a paleo version of apple and rhubarb pie that was a big hit at home. I did a business trip back to Sydney to spend time with our team. Savannah and I would continue to do that monthly, tag teaming so that at least one of us was spending time in the office there every other week.
- September – I spent some quality time at home with my daughter. I took it easy… I worked on my business and on my health. I was actually quite physically tired from the move and all the travel I’d been doing. I got a little sucked into the spellbinding drama of US politics, but had to stop that once I realised it was not adding anything positive to my life. This happens from time to time… I find it fascinating and I don’t want to be ignorant about what’s going on in the world, but in the end if I take it too far it starts to affect my mindset in a negative way, and I have to give it up. Protecting my mindset is super important to me, because it has so many domino effects for the rest of my life.
- October – I decided to do intermittent fasting for health, as a way to help my body to rejuvenate. I’d done a lot of research on it before starting. I chose to do 20 hours of fasting a day, with a 4 hour eating window. I committed to doing it for one month and then have a break. I did it! I also found a way to get my daughter to take walks with me around beautiful Queenstown – she likes to talk about books she’s reading so I would say: “let’s go for walk and you can tell me about your book.” A win for both of us! October is audit and tax return finalisation season in Australia, so I was busy with that on behalf of the companies I oversee.
- November – I went to another Mastermind meeting in the US, and after that I took the stage to speak to 800 entrepreneurs about abundance. I got a standing ovation! And several people came up to me afterwards and said how impactful my speech was for them. I also did some annual reporting work for companies I am on the board of – a start-up business and a charity.
- December – Well, it’s not quite over yet! I went to a family wedding in Australia which was fun – a great opportunity to catch up with people I don’t get to see that often. I took my sister away to the Golden Door health retreat in the Hunter Valley, Australia. We spent 5 glorious days there eating healthy food, exercising, and having wonderful treatments. Visited my team in Sydney and gave them all their Christmas bonuses. We always shut down between Christmas and New Year, so everyone is off now having a well-deserved break and getting ready for 2019!
STEP #2: GRATITUDE
What am I grateful for this year?
Who was there for me?
What amazing experiences did I have?
What amazing feelings did I feel?
How did I support myself?
STEP #3: COMPASSION
What was challenging for me?
Why was it challenging?
How can I bring some kindness and compassion to myself with respect to these challenges?
(Allow yourself your feelings. No matter what they were, acknowledge and honor them. Without judgment.)
STEP #4: REFLECTION
What did I learn?
What could I have done to make this year better?
How did I feel about my life in 2018?
STEP #5: ASPIRATION
How can I build upon the lessons of 2018 in a way that will help me make 2019 rock?
How do I want to feel in my life next year?
STEP #6: LET IT STEEP
Take your time with this process. Reflection is not meant to be rushed.
Allow yourself to steep in these reflections for a bit.
Do some journalling on it.
Keep a notebook with you and jot things down as they come to mind.
STEP #7: SURRENDER
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 surrender to that.
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