The December holiday season is fast approaching, for those of us the Northern hemisphere at least. Traditionally a time for family, relaxation, over-eating and reflection on the year that has passed and to look ahead to the one that is to come.
I have written before about the 6 conversations to have over the festive season, all are relevant for the forthcoming holiday break. Arguably the most important of all of these conversations is the ‘Look in the Mirror’ conversation. This is the one designed to remind you that you are the CEO of your own career and life. At the high level it asks the question, ‘how are you doing, no really, how are you doing?’
Some questions to reflect on
To help you have this conversation, shine the spotlight on the past year and tease out your headlines. Some questions for you to consider:
- What have you achieved that you are proud of?
- What new relationships have you formed that help sustain you in your ambitions and journey towards happiness?
- What new skills have you developed that contribute to your general well-being and success?
- How are you doing against your personal financial plans, are you managing to balance your aspirations to match your income?
- Has the last year been a year of progress or stagnation?
- What do you want to achieve next year for yourself, your family and your work colleagues?
- What new habits do you need to form that will help you succeed? In short, what are you going to do more of; less of; stop and start or simply do differently that combined will propel you through the year ahead?
On this last question remember you are the script writer. You can write whatever you want, but be careful of your negative inner-voice, it is by far your worst critic so keep it quiet for a while.
Time to be selfish for a while
I find in my ‘Smart Mirror Coaching sessions’ that many people give this look in the mirror conversation scant attention in their hectic day-to-day lives. Mostly it is because we are self-less, as we give our precious time and attention to pretty much everyone and everything else ahead of ourselves. It is also because we are not practiced at having this conversation, we lack the knowledge on what questions to ask, and what thinking process to use when answering the questions we frame.
The recent pandemic lock-down did trigger a wave of self-reflection and career / life planning events. Many people decided to take a career break, or switch profession, or simply removed themselves from the workforce all together to pursue a passion. However, many more did not and as we emerged from lock-down the distraction of rebuilding our lives and adapting to the new normal has created a fine excuse not to continue with too much self-reflection.
Time to reflect and plan
The forthcoming holidays can create another oasis of time for this reflection once more. The look in the mirror conversation is perhaps the toughest conversation to have of them all.
To help with this challenge, I use the ‘Wheel of Life’ tool every 4 months or so throughout the year. This simple tool helps me keep my life in balance and can restore a sense of perspective when one aspect of my life gets out of kilter.
The skill is to practice framing the questions that stimulate your thinking and fire-up your imagination and help you land on ideas for action that will drive you towards your personal goals. If you need help with this conversation then contact me, and we can set up a coaching call.
Of all the presents you may give in this season of goodwill to all, don’t forget yourself!
Have a great end of year holiday.