Another year has passed in the blink of an eye and at this time of year, reflecting, refocussing and reconnecting with loved ones is crucial. First, let me wish you and your family a safe and happy festive season ahead and if you are taking holidays, enjoy some time relaxing!

Reflection at the end of the year is an important strategy and can lead to greater self-awareness. It is a necessary stage in identifying areas for personal or professional improvement and growth. Self-reflection can help you to better understand your strengths, acknowledge your feelings, generate ideas and question your underlying values and beliefs. Taking time to reflect can help you identify approaches that have worked well in the past 12 months and assists to reinforce good practice. For example, ask yourself the following questions, honestly and take about 15-20 minutes to write down and reflect on your responses:

  • What was my career highlight for 2015?
  • How did I add value to my employer?
  • What did I learn about myself from the past 12 months?
  • What goal did I reach this year?
  • What am I most happy about?
  • What challenged or stretched me way of thinking?
  • What one thing did I take away from that challenge?
  • What am I thankful for?
  • How many times did I express my feelings of love and kindness to others?
  • How did I take care of myself during the year?
  • How can I spend more time with my family?

Having these types of “hindsight” conversations with yourself or a loved are designed to spark thinking, encourage personal connection and promote self-discovery. Gaining clarity around these factors, by asking yourself the tough questions, allows for an intentional forward movement in your life. Otherwise, if you did not reflect upon your actions and activities, you may start drifting in a direction that is inconsistent with who you are.

When you undertake this process, be truthful, even if the truth is unpleasant or scary. The power lies within telling yourself the truth and then taking action. In fact, you may come to a realisation that could have a positive impact. Maybe it means you have to stop something, or to intensify something. Whatever it is, to use this self-attained knowledge is the key. You will make the conclusion and then you need to commit to a decision. Get ready for 2016, do some deep thinking, learn from the past and change your future.