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Who else is feeling this way as you do your end-of-year reflection?

The key to reflection is giving yourself grace for what didn’t happen or went sideways, and focusing on insights instead of self-recrimination.

My 2022 certainly wasn’t what I planned. When I was doing my EOY reflection, the first word I wrote down to describe the year was “disjointed.”

I had great plans for the year. I even bought a fancy-a** planner. And used fancy-a** markers.

    • Then my dog got sick. Got better. Got sick again. Got better.
    • Then we adopted a puppy. The puppy had health issues. Got better after lots of vet visits.
    • Then we decided to buy a house and move.
    • Then I experienced a concussion which took a month to recover from.
    • Then we moved my parents into residential living so my dad can get help with my mom who has Alzheimer’s.

I ditched the fancy-a** planner sometime around June. It made me feel guilty when I looked at it. I didn’t need that.

As I proceeded with the EOY reflection, I answered the question “Did anything happen this past year that needs to be forgiven?” The answer was “I need to forgive myself for not accomplishing what I’d planned.”

I needed to give myself grace.

The funny thing is that I KNOW this. I believe fully in giving ourselves grace. I coach others to do exactly that.

It’s hard to do when it’s yourself.

What helps me come back to giving myself grace is one of my mantras:

“Everything happens at the proper speed.”

With that in mind, I can look back at the year and recognize where I could have done things differently, while simultaneously acknowledging that if my plans had come to fruition, I would have been hard-pressed to be present for the life stuff that happened.

If you take the time this year to engage in EOY reflection–which I encourage you to do!–just remember to do it with an eye to giving yourself grace for those plans that perhaps didn’t happen as expected.

Instead, consider it from the perspective of “Everything happens at the proper speed.” With that lens, what can you learn from it? And what did the “not achieving” make possible?

Then set a plan for 2023, recognizing the path may be tangled, but ultimately you’ll get where you need to be.

PS – Looking for a great–and free!–resource for EOY reflection and next year planning? I stumbled onto YearCompass and love it. Not fancy. No markers are required.

PPS – If you’re ready to work with a leadership coach to help you set and work towards your leadership goals–and encourage you to give yourself grace–contact me and let’s hit the ground running in 2023.


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