blog graphic year end review

“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.” Margaret Wheatley

The week between Christmas and New Year is one of my all-time favorite times of any year. I love the slower pace to get clarity and focus. I also love the excitement of the clean slate and fresh start offered by the New Year to get inspired and motivated.

This is the perfect time to clear a path for creating the coming year. It’s the foundation for any new intention and goal setting. I believe you can not build something new on top of a bunch of incompletions. It’s like having one foot in the old year and one foot in the New Year.  

This is the week I get ready to jump into the New Year with both feet. I start with a quick review and completion exercise of the prior year. This includes expressing gratitude and celebrating what I am most proud of, what I learned, and letting go of anything no longer serving me.

Even if you have already missed the magical week, you can still apply these tips to set your year up for success. Plan to complete the exercise before January is out.

Here is the process I’m using to wrap up 2021 and set the stage for 2022 being my best year yet!


new year new you text on desk

Year In Review

As I get ready for the New Year, I complete the current year. This review, reflection, and acknowledgment exercise is a powerful tool to get clear and ready to create what’s next in the coming year.

Schedule time to go back through your 2021 calendar, like 30 minutes, maybe a little more, looking for the highlights and answer the following questions:

  1. What’s one thing you did that makes you feel proud? How will you acknowledge and celebrate this success?
  2. What’s one mistake you made and the lesson you learned? How will you leverage your wisdom moving forward?
  3. What’s one story you’re willing to let go of before the New Year? What new story will you create?

It’s not uncommon for goal-oriented achievers to rush past accomplishments small and large to get on to what’s next. I know because I have to remind myself and my clients to take this important pause to celebrate. This practice can have a powerful direct impact on you and a ripple effect on others around you!

Best Practice: create opportunities to acknowledge and celebrate regularly throughout the year, and especially at year-end, to sustain motivation and momentum!

Best Practice: acknowledge and apply lessons learned as a positive way to improve, grow and transform.

Best Practice: acknowledge some stories repeated don’t support us, and consciously letting go of anything no longer serving you is a powerful way to live a fulfilling, enlightened life.

So, how will you celebrate your success? Be sure to schedule it in your calendar! Leverage your wisdom? Create a new story?

woman working on computer

Get Real About Incomplete Items

Speaking of letting go, we all tend to do too much, contributing to an accumulation of unfinished stuff – incompletions. Tolerating incomplete stuff takes up precious psychic real estate in your mind, zaps energy, and contributes to overwhelm. It blocks you from creating new possibilities, conversations, and actions. 

I use a two-step process to clear incompletions.

Get Real

First, I get real about the incomplete items. An incomplete item is anything I said I would do; what others asked me to do; what I expect, need, or want to do; what others expect, need, or want me to do – and I have not done yet!

Incomplete Items Inventory

Next, I create my Incomplete Items Inventory of all the current open items and make a plan for each one.

My choice is simple – either deal with it or get straight about not completing it.

First, make a list of everything not complete, write it all down on paper or in a spreadsheet, and plan to get complete either by doing it now, scheduling it to be done, or getting straight, agreeing not to do it, and calling it complete.

A practice of getting complete regularly, especially at year-end, will eliminate the chance of just rolling things over into the New Year. 

I’m currently creating my punch list for all the incomplete stuff in my life, so I am clear and focused on what I will complete before year-end.

These go in my task manager and calendar. I then do the same for the items being carried forward into the New Year and add them to my 2022 calendar.

My goal is to do less, better, and to completion!

Best Practice: Implement a regular completion process – annually, quarterly, monthly, weekly, daily, events — review, reflect, and complete by doing it, scheduling it, or deleting it!

“It’s not till you let go of something that you see how it’s been holding you back.” Marie Forleo

My sincere hope is that this quick, powerful year in review and completion exercise will help spark your motivation and momentum too, and set the stage for your powerful 2022!

I am wishing you the best year yet in 2022!


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