Every year, in the last days of December I think to myself, “This year I’ll take a day all for myself to review my year. I’ll reflect on my achievements, my wins, my losses and begin to visualize and plan for next year.”

Every year, I get to January 4th or 5th and think, “Oh crap. I forgot to do that review of my year I meant to do. I don’t think I really achieved all that much, or failed hugely, I’ll just keep on trucking.”

Wrong. It’s never too late. I know now that the last days of December aren’t a great time for me to find a quiet day for reflection. There is too much fun to be had, too many people to see and too much distraction. Maybe you feel that way too? In previous years I’ve always felt that I had failed by not reviewing my year, but I didn’t really know what I was missing, so I just did what I had always done.

This time, I was prepared. I had booked a few days away with my husband in early January and I made a promise to myself that I would take the time out then. We had rented a little cottage in West Cork with terrible phone signal and no Wifi. Where better to sit without distraction and reflect?

View from DB blog image
Even without having a plan or clear goals for 2015, I achieved a lot. Once I had written it all down on a single piece of paper, I could see everything at a glance and I felt close to tears at how hard I had been on myself.

I used this guide to help me to review my year and plan 2016. It was the perfect template for me, as it offered prompts and questions, without being too structured or didactic. (I would recommend printing the A4 version. I used A5 and felt just a wee bit limited) I realized that while I was not pregnant yet, I had made so much progress in a year. I acknowledged the growth in my relationship with my husband. I felt proud of my personal ah-ha moment surrounding my own personal creativity (who knew I was a creative person!? Not me!) Moving into 2016 I have clear goals, intentions and areas I have chosen to work on. I’m excited about another year, rather than feeling kind of vague and unfocused.

I invite you now, if you haven’t already, to sit down for a few hours over the next fortnight and review your year. This is a wonderful time. January is quiet, money is often tight and social engagements tend to be thin on the ground. Stay indoors and treat yourself to this luxury.

This is a time for hope - blog image
If we look to the Celtic Calendar, as I like to, we are about 2 weeks from the festival of Imbolg on February 1. Imbolg means ‘in the belly’, where you can find the underlying energy at this time of year. All is expectant, there is the promise of renewal, of hidden potential, of the awakening of the earth and the beginnings of life-force stirring. This is a time for hope.

Why not take this chance to prepare for that first flush of new growth? Let me know how you get on with the planner or if you’ve already done your own review and have made some realisations of your own! I’d love to hear them…share in the comments below or on my facebook page

With warmest wishes,

Ruth Signature

P.S. For some reason the link for the guide I used isn’t working, hopefully it will become available again, so bookmark it and check back regularly.