Today’s tip in the Here to the New Year in Good Cheer challenge is to start thinking about 2016 the way you would a dear friend who is celebrating a big birthday.
What can you recall about the year that made it so spectacular or noteworthy or different? Where did you go? What did you do? Who did you meet? What products or experiences changed how you do things?
Here’s a template you can use to think about the highlights of your year. I’ll share some examples from my year to get you started. Since it’s a long list, I’ll start with half the list today and finish up tomorrow. Then on Friday I’ll provide you with a new (and different) template for Naming and Claiming what you want to create in 2017.
At the top, I’d love for you to give the year a name. Maybe it is the same one you started the year with or maybe it morphed into something else as the year progressed.
For me it was The Stretch Year. I ventured outside my comfort zone and made a couple of tv appearances, gave a few big presentations, invested in video equipment, and participated in coaching programs and challenges that stretched my vision of what’s possible.
Next, come up with six words to summarize the year. It will lend a laser like focus to the year. My six word summary for 2016 is “Leap and the net will appear.” If you don’t like six words, then change it to a theme song or a book or movie title. Just something that succinctly sums it up.
Where did you go in 2016? Recall the places you went, the people you met, and the way these experiences changed you.
I traveled a lot early in the year. I wanted to go to Red Mountain Resort in St. George, Utah, for years. I finally got there in February. Of course, I wanted to move there immediately and work at the resort. This could be why I didn’t dare go there right after I bought my house.
In April I traveled to Austin, Texas, to a magical meeting of Martha Beck coaches and wanted to move there as well and live among the creatives.
In June I went to another art town, Savannah, Georgia, where my niece graduated from SCAD. Yes, I wanted to move there, too – but only in the winter.
And in August we took a very quick trip to Colorado for a family wedding. You already know I wanted to move there because “the mountains are calling and I must go” whenever I get the chance.
Who is your Person of the Year? If you happen to know him or her, great. If not, that’s okay too. If you were inspired by several people, you can change this to People of the Year.
The Jake Arrieta bobble -head in my office and the stuffed Jake Arrieta plush toy I got for Christmas are sure give-aways as to my person of the year.
I embraced this Pilates-practicing pitcher for the Chicago Cubs as the poster guy for my How to Get Your Groove Back class because just a few years ago he almost gave up baseball for fear he had lost his groove. I figured if he could have such a phenomenal comeback, maybe I could too.
It really helped boost my credibility with the group that the Cubs went on to win the World Series (so actually the whole team qualifies for People of the Year), proving that it is possible to get your groove back in a remarkable way.
I also have to give a shout out to Nicole at Zappos. She completely restored my faith in customer service. Bob ordered a pair of boots for me as a Christmas gift that I needed to exchange. Or course the pair I wanted to exchange them for were a wee bit more expensive. (Okay, $50 more.)
“Not to worry,” Nicole said, “You know what? I’m going to do an even exchange. This is my favorite part of my job. I get to make these decisions and I’ll send the new boots out tomorrow. Just send the other ones back within 14 days.” Happy Shoe Year, indeed!
What disrupted your life or changed life as you know it? For better or for worse, what forced you to do things differently? Hands down, Ruby O’Riley, the red lab puppy changed my life and disrupted my sleep patterns forever.
What were some of the biggest surprises of the year? These can be on a global level and a personal level. Did I mention the Cubs winning the World Series? Or the election?
On a personal level, running into 4 different people from my college years on 4 separate occasions in 4 different locations across the country and Canada was surprising. They reminded me of things I’d long forgotten and made me realize that even when I didn’t think I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, the clues were there all along.
What were the biggest innovations or experiences that moved your life forward? What catapulted your career, your relationships, your health, or your finances to new heights?
My treadmill desk and standing desk continue to revolutionize the way I work. Creating a How to Get Your Groove Back Facebook group along facilitating the Get Stuff Done 1×31 and Here to the New Year in Good Cheer challenges forced me to learn technology on the fly. Nothing incites innovation more than publicly committing to do something.
Fiverr gave me affordable access to graphic designers. Mad Mimi and Publitas helped me automate some parts of my business that were beyond me until a few months ago.
The Gathering of Wayfinders conference in Austin and the Experience Product Masterclass I just completed changed my business model. Listening to TED talks and attending TEDx Naperville as well as participating in Brené Brown’s Daring Leadership and Leaders Rising courses kept me current on all kinds of topics.
They were also some of my biggest investments of time, money, and resources. Fortunately, they payed off in unexpected ways and unlikely connections.
What about you? What were your biggest investments? How did they pay off?
Epic failures are only epic if we don’t learn from them. What were some of yours?
I bought a lot of stuff I didn’t need in hopes that I would become a smarter, richer, younger, thinner, more confident, total badass version of my current self. I also had a challenging start to the school year that proved I have not begun to master the badass boss thing.
Okay, that should get you started. I’ll finish up with the rest of the prompts on Thursday. You can download the above worksheet here. This link will take you to Publitas where you will be able to download the worksheet by clicking on the download button to the left of the page. Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject Year in Review in and I’ll email it to you.
I’d love to see what you’re coming up with. Share your highlights in the comments below.