It’s that time of the year, almost 10 days before the end. And for many years now I do my planning for the next year on this time, usually in long walks. What I didn’t do until recently was a closure for the year that ends, a Year End Review, something I learned a couple of years ago from Tara Rodden Robinson on her former podcast GTD Virtual Study Group (this is the episode if you would like to hear it)

Think about the Year End Review as a long diary entry to encapsule the year and pack it, by keeping the best. Weather you want to do it writen, spoken or even just on your mind, it’s like cleaning up your brain and making space for what is about to come.

Some little suggestions, before starting.

  • Get at least a little chunk of time to do it exclusively, no interruptions. Weather its ten minutes or a whole hour,focus. It could be one topic at a time if the slot of time available is too short.
  • Writing can provide a diferent outlook on things, I found that the excercise of writing things down changes my perspective on things, maybe it will happen to you too. It can be digital or analogue (pen and paper).
  • A walk or a run might be a good idea. If you find trouble concentrating sitting down, as I often do, movement can help.

So now you are wondering “So many things happened last year, where do I start?” If you would like to try it, here are some ideas:

  • Things (relationships, circumstances) to appreciate, every year brings joyful circumstances and relationships. Getting into each one of them can seem overwhelming, but somo times just listing them helps us relive the joy.
  • Things (relationships, circumstances) that hurted in some way, pain is a part of life, embracing it helps us to get over it, again maybe just a list could be of enormous help. If you find writing this daunting, a former therapist of mine once taught me a trick; do it using pencil and paper, since pencils are made on carbon, and carbon over time becomes diamonds, it can certainly throw light to things. Yes, I know, it sounds silly, I thought that too the first time I heard it, but just try it, it made an enormous difference for me and maybe it can do it for you too.
  • Things that pushed forward, what ever made you better, a better profesional, a better family or community member, a better human being.
  • Things that holded back, let’s face it, sometimes we get stuck on things. On a higher level of thought, like the Year End Review, its easier to see.
  • Ideas that remained. As time passes it leaves us a perfume, what of the things you came across remained on the top of your mind. Maybe something you have read or a friend told you, or you have learned somehow. Whatever “made click” can provide and outlook of where is our concious mind at this very moment.
  • Things to let go, all that bagage that has came too heavy to still carry around; again pencil and paper can help.
  • Things I wish to continue pursuing the next year, for me this is the golden closure, I always end happy and energetic after I do this one, it gives me the perfect setting for next years goals.

Hope this helps. If you would like this ideas in a mind map format you can download it here on Freemind format to import to MindMeister or your mind mapping app of preference.

This post is also available in: Spanish

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