Blog: Learning from 2022

ema’s Annie Elliott uses the final blog of 2022 to talk about the importance of taking time out to reflect on the last 12 months.

The last twelve months have not been short of challenges.

From the impact of the cost-of-living crisis to ongoing effects of the pandemic, none of our lives have escaped impact.

I’m a great believer that there’s always something to learn from every situation. This time of year is always a good to reflect on the previous 12 months.

At the end last year, I posted an article sharing a few ways to review your year. Over the last couple of weeks, I have caught up with a few people who contacted me to share how they had read the article and were using it take a different approach to 2022. They said taking time out to reflect had enabled them to deal more effectively with the challenges of the year.

I thought I’d share the tips again – let me know how you get on.

Create your Wheel of Life

When you review your year, consider work AND personal areas. Everything in your life is related. Should you have personal challenges, they’ll impact your work life. And vice versa.

So, throw it all into the pot when you’re reflecting on how it’s gone.

Learning from past performance and experience to create future goals is the perfect example of your growth mindset in action. It’s a positive approach I encourage you to embrace.

Read about the value of building your growth mindset

As a visual whole-life reflection tool, you can’t beat the Wheel of Life. It reminds us that to go forward smoothly, we must achieve balance across all areas of our life. One part cannot succeed without the others.

First, consider the areas of life that matter to you. These might include your career, family, social life, health, and finances.

Scoring from one to ten, how happy are you with each area?

What changes could you make to increase that score?

What must to do in 2023 to achieve this?

This helps you understand where to focus your efforts to create a more circular wheel. A wheel that’ll take you through 2023 more easily.

Ask yourself these reflective questions

It’s important to know which questions help you reflect fully. I always ask myself these five. Why not grab a notepad and jot down your thoughts? That way, your brain fully engages. And it’s incredibly valuable to refer to as you plan 2023.

So, here goes…

What have been your biggest achievements in 2022 – and why?

Look at your personal life as well as your work. Some achievements might be huge, others much smaller. But important to you.

What have you found most difficult during the year?

It’s not negative to reflect on your challenges too. They help you learn how to do things differently as you go forward.

How did you feel when a colleague or friend made you feel good about something?

First identify the thing. Then consider how you felt. This is the likely state you want to create more of in your life. Be clear on what it feels like so you can recognise it more easily.

What have been your biggest lessons from 2022?

Again, look across all aspects of your life. Why have you chosen these examples? How will they affect your actions in 2023?

What was the biggest risk you took in 2022?

We all take risks in life. And we should. Consider your biggest one during 2022 and why you decided to do it. Does it seem as risky now? Did it pay off? If not, what would you do differently next time?

Finally, do you journal? If so, look back and pull out your biggest milestones. Notice how you were feeling at the time. Consider how far you’ve come since then. This is all about your personal progress, nobody else’s.

Two core goals

Reflection is crucial to make further progress in life. By understanding what’s happened, what’s worked, and what hasn’t, you can prepare for the future. There’s a lovely analogy that you must prepare the soil and your environment to help you flourish – just like gardeners do.

But let’s keep this simple. I want you to achieve something from your reflection.

Select two key goals for 2023. Identify those that’ll have the biggest positive impact on your life – both personally and professionally.

Now, commit them to paper.

This step is important. Research confirms you’re more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. It embeds them in your brain and keeps you focused.

Now, break these two goals down further, if you can.

What will be the outcome of achieving this goal?

What must you do to get there?

What must you overcome along the way?

Can you progress your goal in stages?

Who can help you?

When is your deadline?

They’re YOUR dreams – go and get them

It’s too easy to feel now is not the right time. There’s enough going on in the world. And yet, you’ve got dreams and aspirations, just like the next person.

So, what’s stopping you?

Of course, you might hit some issues as you progress. That’s inevitable whenever you pursue your goals. But my advice to you is simple:

Don’t let the weeds grow around your dreams in 2023.

You can choose to make them happen.

Anne Elliot EMA Consultancy

Anne Elliott

Managing Director

01926 887272