2023 – Oh boy, what a rollercoaster ride!
Each year as I look to close out the year that was, I set aside time to reflect on my what was, what is, and what will be going forward. I do this from both a professional and personal perspective.
This year there have been some REAL highs. But, I believe it is equally important to reflect on the not so good times. Where things perhaps have happened that are out of your control and may have left you feeling a range of emotions. Perhaps things that have even seen you shed some (or many!) tears.
By reflecting on both of these aspects, I believe it helps get to the REAL heartbeat of your year. Why does this matter? Because then you can truly reflect on your lessons, learnings and key takeaways to enable you to keep moving, growing and define what is important to you going into the following year.
Need some prompts to help you start? I've got you covered. These are some of my favourites that I like to ask myself each year:
- What were the major highlights of the year?
- What were the most challenging moments?
- What did I learn from the highlights and challenging moments?
- In what way did I step out of my comfort zone and take risks?
- What goals or intentions did I set for the year, and how did I go towards achieving them?
I decided it was worth sharing my reflections with you because even though what I’ve dealt with this year is likely different to you, there are mutual lessons that can be learnt for all of us.
Celebrating achievements and unexpected blessings
For me, effective self-reflection begins with a series of questions that invite introspection.
Did I show up in a way I was proud of? What are the things I accomplished?
These questions serve as a guide to get those thinking caps on, because trust me, there will almost always be a significant difference between your perceived accomplishments and the often underestimated magnitude of your actual achievements.
One of my shining moments this year was purchasing a house in my dream suburb. This unexpected blessing emphasises the importance of recognising that plans don't always unfold as expected, and sometimes, that divergence can lead to something even more beautiful.
I also celebrated a 5-year milestone in business, this was also a trigger for a branding refresh for Claire Seeber and Eating your Cake too. I am so excited to be stepping into 2024 with this new phase of my business. Psst, if you have checked it out yet, here is our brand new home page.
Navigating the challenges
Building truly authentic human connections, for me, means we celebrate the highs and discuss the challenges - we don’t just showcase the highlight reel.
While I encourage the creation of vision boards for motivation, it's essential to recognise that life doesn't always unfold according to our meticulously crafted plans—and that's okay!
Without delving into the specifics of the challenges I've faced this year (which you can listen to on the poddy if you're curious), I do want to share a key reminder for you (and for me!) that feels like the whole world could benefit from remembering right now...
Treat People with Kindness, always.
It's a simple yet often forgotten mantra. Everyone is wrestling their own battles, far beyond what meets the eye. What you witness is merely the tip of the iceberg. I firmly believe that if we all strive to remember this and practise more compassion, the world would undeniably be a better place.
THE IMPORTANT PART
Now for the nitty gritty stuff. This is the most important part in this exercise, where you pinpoint those key takeaways from the year that have made you grow as a person. So here are mine:
- Build your support system: Navigating through life's highs and lows is kind of a big deal. Ensuring you've got the right support isn't just a personal mantra—it's a game-changer. Think about it, the right people around you don't just lift you up; their positive vibes create a ripple effect, especially in a professional setting. So, surround yourself with those who get where you're coming from, evolve with you, challenge you to want to be better, and support you in your journey.
- Stay Soft: In a world that can sometimes feel like it's trying to toughen us up, don't forget to stay soft. Yep, I'm talking about holding onto empathy, connection, and love—the things that make us human. Take a breath, step back, and check in with yourself regularly. Amid the hustle, kindness becomes a superpower, capable of changing the world, far beyond the relentless pursuit of a bottom line.
- Take Care of your mind: Be picky about what your brain consumes; it's like curating a playlist for your soul. Stay aware, because your brain buys into whatever you tell it. Surround yourself with uplifting resources and positive vibes on social media. I’m not suggesting to drown out or ignore world events - to even be able to do that is a privilege many do not have right now. But, what I do mean, is being deliberate in the content you consume and ensuring it serves you constructively.
Well, there you have it!
An insight into how I keep myself accountable for the year that was and keep that ball rolling into the next.
For those intrigued and wanting to learn more about the highs, lows and lessons I’ve shared, head over to the podcast episode and tune in.
Stay fabulous and true to yourself, talk to you in 2024!