Hello my friends! I will not ask, even rhetorically, if you can believe it’s December because who can believe anything right now? I’m flabbergasted by almost everything. My flabber is gasted! My credulity is strained!
And yet here we are.
Time to take stock, and review 2022.
As we have said here before, it’s important to be a witness to your own life. Some of the kids will tell you that’s what Instagram is for, but I find social media is a disappointing witness. It sometimes fails to adequately mirror, encourage and/or praise me, you know? Better to do the witnessing for ourselves, and post the highlight reel to social.
There are a million ways to do a year-end review. My main principle is to take no guidance from corporate culture. We can skip the “praise” sandwiches.
You know and I know what we need: an emphasis on what went right. Let’s take one day out of the year to combat our built-in negativity bias, and record mostly praise, with a praise filling, and a side of praise. In other words, celebration!
Here are some ways to do this without going all the way to toxic positivity. Make lists of :
- things you’re proud of, accomplishments
- things you completed in 2022
- things you launched in 2022
- hard things that you did anyway, even if “it doesn’t seem like they should have been hard”
- things that you changed for the better, even if only a little (because that’s how real change works!)
- things that maybe you didn’t consciously change, but are nonetheless different now—even small things (really, there are no small things when it comes to accomplishments)
- things that no one else knows about (yet) (but maybe you’ll want to share?)
- new learnings / revelations you want to keep close to (because we can forget)
- favorite moments with your people, favorite moments on vacation, favorite books, favorite meals …
No matter what kind of year it’s been, there is always a lot that’s true and real to feel good about.
In the MDK Shop
When you’ve done that, if and only if you’re feeling buoyed and want to, you might ride those good feelings over to the other side for a minute. In the end, I always find it easier to look the bad stuff in the eye, rather than trying to avoid its gaze.
Important: I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT SHAMING YOURSELF. Again, this is not the praise sandwich! No self-blame. I can guarantee you there’s been more than enough of that.
Instead, let’s make a list of what sucked, what we don’t want more of, and what we might set about changing in 2023. This is the list you can use to orient yourself toward goals and wishes in the coming year.
You can see I have left a lot out. So include anything else you need for yourself.
And then let it all marinate for a while. It’s good to have a contemplative gap between a review and a planning session. (Whoops! I guess a little corporate practice did creep in there.) Anyway, when you’re done, put it down and let it cook.
Feel free to share with appreciative other witnesses, of course! And we will talk about planning in January.
Meanwhile, I’d love to hear about what else goes in your year-end review. Pop your items in the comments below! And happy holidays, my friends.