Reflect Realign Refresh - Let Go And Move Forward
No matter how long the flight, an airliner is only on track twice during the entire journey. Once before it pushes back from the departure gate and then again as it comes to a stop at the arrival gate of it's destination. The rest of the journey is filled with tweaks and adjustments that bring it back on course when atmospheric conditions or air traffic control directed changes are made to the original flight plan given to the pilot before they got on the plane.
That's a lot like our year really. We start with an end goal in mind and things do not always go as we planned. We too, like the airliner, need to make changes along the way to compensate for what's going on around us. In the end though, we arrive at the end of another year.
Speaking to many people over the past few weeks, I find that some people are happy with where they have arrived, others not so much. Some have endured a lot more turbulence than others and some have had sometimes unrealistic air traffic controllers changing their flight plan many times. Either way, the best way to finish strong in 2017, and create a smoother flight in 2108, is to go through a process with me that will put you back in control.
It saddens me to hear that more people give up on themselves and call it quits at this time of year than any other time. One of the main reasons is they look at where they have arrived at the end of the year and compare it to where they were last year. Their little voice convinces them that nothing will ever change and that they are not capable of making things happen. I have even heard dads say things like "They would be better off without me so I'm leaving". No dad, they won't be better off and neither will you so I want to work with you to help you see things in a different light.
So let's walk through this 3 step process together.
The first step is to REFLECT on the year that's just past. Looking back over the journey to see what you can learn from it. To make this helpful instead of harmful, you must do this using 'forward focused reflection'. It's like being in your car. As you look forward there are 2 pieces of glass in front of you. One is very large and the other much smaller. The windscreen and the rear view mirror. The windscreen gives you a big picture view of what's ahead of you while the rear vision mirror allows you to check in every now and then to see what's going on behind you. Let me tell you there is a reason one is much bigger than the other. It's all about the proportion we use them. You need to invest more energy looking at where you are going than where you have been. So how does this relate to how you REFLECT?
As you look back into the year, the first thing to remember is that it's just a quick look rather than staying there focusing on the past. Do that and you are missing out on what's ahead and if you did that in your car your journey could come to an abrupt stop before you get too far. You could run off the road or even crash into something coming at you the other way.
So to avoid this, and get off to a great start, the quick look back is to find 2 things:
1. What wins did I have and why did I have them?
2. What didn't work so well and what did that teach me?
When we reflect this way, we are gathering resources for the journey ahead. Instead of being stuck in the emotion of what we failed to get done, we are priming ourselves with gold nuggets of logic that can pave the way forward.
The next step of the process is REALIGN.
During the reflect step, you will have found out where you need to tweak and adjust things to get them back on track. It's just like the airliner only this take you have taken the lead and not the many air traffic controllers around you. So what sort of things could you realign?
The first is to ensure that any of your values or priorities that have been compromised are reinstated at the head of your forward plan. When you do this your journey ahead will be so much smoother and rewarding.
The second is to realign the projects and actions that need to be completed to get you to where you want to be by the end of 2018. To do this of course, you must first work out where you want to be and why?
The last step in the process is REFRESH. It's a simple step but a crucial one.
On a long haul flight, the pilot and crew take turns at sleeping and other restful activities to ensure they are able to go the distance and get everyone to the other end of the journey safely. You need to do the same.
Have you planned a few days break over the Christmas and New Year season? More specifically, what self care activities have you got planned to refresh yourself? You need time to relax, unwind and have some fun so when you report to the gate again as the pilot of flight 2018 you are primed and ready to go the distance. You are able to do this because you have invested energy in letting go of the past and created your own flight plan for the journey ahead. As you are the pilot and the airliner in this metaphor, you need to refuel and take on supplies or your not going to get too far.
No matter your beliefs and what this time of year means for you, Christmas is meant to be celebrated and enjoyed by everyone, even YOU. Going through this process will go a long way to making this a reality.
My prayer for you all is that you are able to recognise 2017 for the teaching ground that it has been and that 2018 is your best year ever. It has been my pleasure to serve you this year and I look forward to whatever leg of the journey we do together next year.
If you would like a simple template to help you go through the REFLECT - REALIGN - REFRESH process then get in touch and I will send you one.