And just like that, we are about to say farewell to another year!
I’d by lying if I said this was my favorite time of year. Yes, I love the festive decorations and holiday lights. It is true, I enjoy watching my daughter experience the magic of the stories and traditions we carry forward. And I must confess, I like any excuse to write in my journal (i.e. year end reflections). Despite all of that, I feel a burden from the shorter, darker days.
In other words, getting to the heart of your aspirations for the New Year, then marrying them with where the rubber meets the roads is an art form
It’s as though my inner critic hides in the shadows of the nights, lingering a little longer then a few months ago. Ready and eager to pounce at the inkling of a fear, it sometimes turns into hours of full on battle. I could get sucked into the doubt, the questioning – why do I struggle with this?
Instead I have an anchor. A personal tradition that grounds and centers me. A growing ritual that has evolved over the years involving my journal (AKA my best friend, just kidding, sorta).
Now, instead of sinking, I take the darkness as an opportunity to go within. I let it illuminate things that usually remain obscured by the routines of daylight. I spend a little more time reflecting and writing in my journal.
For a year now, I’ve been sitting on my couch almost every morning to write in my journal. Occasionally I gaze out the window. I see a new side of winter as I watch the sky change from black, to dark blue. From dark blue to red on the horizon. From red to light blue.
This time spent writing stream of consciousness are different than the times I spend writing my reflections for 2017 and mapping out my plans for 2018 in my journal. The pages look different. The process feels different. And yet my head space is much the same.
I feel connected to something bigger!
And it is in the space of connectedness where my greatest insights, my most eye opening reflections and my most boldly attainable plans are schemed. Unfortunately, it’s not a particularly neat place to be. In fact, it’s quite a messy and chaotic process that eventually leads to orderliness.
I’ve already logged a few (err many) hours working on my 2017 reflections. By the time I’m finished planning for 2018 I will have easily filled 20 pages in my journal of reflections, visioning, goal setting and the like…you might think that’s over kill. But as Mark Twain is attributed with saying, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”
Long winded plans are often abandoned for simpler solutions. Intelligent (AKA SMART) goals that have no heart are easily forgotten. Idealistic resolutions that aren’t grounded will evaporate into thin air the moment resistance is met.
In other words, getting to the heart of your aspirations for the New Year, then marrying them with where the rubber meets the roads is an art form. It is a picture you may best start painting in your journal. And it takes pages upon pages of reviewing, reflecting, ideating, organizing, prioritizing and planning to whittle down your thoughts and dreams into an actionable plan that will carry you into the future.
I don’t meant to alarm or encourage analysis paralisys. I just know from experience that there are all these ideas coming from outside forces encouraging us to do this or that. Those things we think we should do because they are an indicator of success. Or becauase we think that by losing weight we will have a positive self-image. And that’s just BS.
And besides, reviewing and reflecting on the previous year is really helpful because it puts things into perspective. Most of us tend to overemphasize the negative or bad while discounting the positive or good. We can get super critical, looking at all the things we didn’t do or should have done rather than celebrating our accomplishments. When I invest time in reviewing and reflecting on the previous year I realize something empowering, even inspiring more went well than didn’t.
This one simple realization gives me a lot more hope for the New Year. Furthermore, I have concrete evidence of what I’m capable of. Documenting my achievements and my struggles enables me to apply lessons learned for my planning efforts in 2018.
Here’s a sampling of the reflection questions I’ve pondered in my own journal so far!
- What did you achieve in 2017?
- What are some of the most joyous moments you experienced in 2017?
- What struggles did you endure in 2017?
- What did you learn about yourself in 2017?
What’s Rosabella Consulting Up To?
As a celebration of our accomplishments from 2017 we would like to share some testimonials from happy clients this past year!
For Conversational Intelligence Trainings we Led
“We hired Ariana with Rosabella Consulting to improve lines of communication and do team building for the PGA and CGA’s collaborative partnership. I highly recommend her Conversational Intelligence training, it was well worth the investment in our people, and our business!”
– Eddie Ainsworth, Executive Director/CEO for Colorado PGA
“Our Conversational Intelligence training with Rosabella Consulting was a great experience! Ariana partnered with me to co-create a program that met my goals and expectations. She was extremely responsive and attentive. She cared about providing a valuable experience for my team and did just that!”
– Andrea Karapas, Manager Career Counseling, Colorado State University
For Facilitation Services we Provided
“Thank YOU! The team is still talking about the retreat and is so happy with what we were able to accomplish. I know this is just the beginning, but I feel confident that we are headed in the right direction.”
– Christy Fath, Executive Director for March of Dimes
“I wanted to say thank you…for your great work with the strategic meeting on Tuesday. We feel it was more successful and constructive than any of us had hoped it would be, and your work was a large part of that.”
– Program Manager for a Non-Profit
“Ariana’s cocreation process was exactly what I was looking for. I have been in strategic planning sessions previously that was mostly team building activities then some discussion on what the strategic plan should be. In the end, a plan was made by the facilitator and manager. I liked having my entire staff involved the whole way through the process. I would certainly recommend using Ariana and Rosabella Consulting.”
– Richie Nelsen, Director of IT for CSU College of Business
“The first thing that…[our partner] said to me when I sat down at dinner on Tues night was that it was a great idea to hire Ariana! THANK YOU! We knew this would be a tough couple of days, which it was. You helped guide us and diffuse the tension. The meetings were productive and we are (cautiously) more optimistic for the future! Wonderful work. Thank you.”
– Executive Director for a Non-Profit
For Journaling Programs we Delivered
“I attended Ariana’s Workshop in January and have been using her journal system to manage my day to day activity, actions and goals. I found my time spent during the workshop to be helpful in clarifying my vision and goals for 2017, along with getting all my thoughts out of my head and into one location. One unintended benefit of the workshop was that I felt contentment and peace afterwards- like I had just given my brain a deep tissue massage.”
– Becca Walkinshaw, Sustainability Coordinator for Gallegos Sanitation
“The journaling techniques Ariana shared at her workshop have been EXTREMELY helpful! I have been using them daily. It really helps me organize my day and get stuff out of my head. I’d highly recommend her journaling workshops for anyone that needs to get better organized.”
– Brandon Avery, Partner Colorado Insurance Advisors, LLC
“I attended a private journaling workshop with Ariana this afternoon. I came away not only with some great ideas, but what I learned about myself, it’s not hard to journal… Anybody can do it and I am proof. I am an organized person, but Ariana helped to focus me on planning and organizing more than what I thought. In other words I now have an easier and better way to write down thoughts, through Brain Dumps, trust me you will love it. Lastly the Q exercise was fantastic. I am planning to do it with my employees as well as the manufacturers I work with. I would highly recommend attending one the EntreprNerds Journaling Workshops.”
Steve Kane, Steve Kane Sales