Whilst enjoying some downtime over the last few days I was reminded of the opportunity we have at this time of year. That reminder came while slip-sliding along countryside trails on my mountain bike.
And that is to take a moment for self-reflection before the end of the year. But not just any self-reflection, mountain bike style reflections! Let me explain what I mean…
I used to specialise in falling gracefully (and sometimes not at all gracefully) off my mountain bike – I seemed to hit every stone, root and rut on the track. Although this can be fun for a while, it’s not the easiest way to make progress, and it certainly uses up much more energy, as well as providing me with quite few bruises! I noticed how others somehow managed to stay on their bikes and miss all these obstacles. When I asked a far more competent biker how they did it, they simply said “by not focusing on the hazards”. In disbelief I responded “ so, to miss those hazards you just don’t look at them and ignore them?”. “Oh no” she replied, “you notice them, trust yourself and confidently focus on the route you want to take, not the one you don’t want to take”. And incredibly, this does actually work!
The wisest words I’ve heard, well at least while covered in mud in the middle of the countryside! And I use this concept for all types of reflecting – or what I prefer to call “feed-forward” (rather than feed-back). Notice the obstacles, challenges, things that didn’t go so well, but keep full focus on your pathway around the roots and ruts of your project, career or even life.
And, as I always love to do, let’s make this really practical. Below are the 4 questions I’ll be asking myself, designed to live the concept of feed-forward by focusing on your future path rather than the roots and ruts:
- What am I most proud of, from this year?
- What has gone really well?
- What could be even better next year?
- Overall, what 3 positive words would I use to describe my year?
So in ending your year, make sure you take some time to feed-forward before starting the next decade.
And if you have other great feed-forward questions, please do share!
Photo credit: Philip Hawkshaw on Unsplash