To Move Forward You Must Look Back

The new year is upon us, inevitable, exciting, and full of possibilities.

And even though I don’t subscribe to the arbitrariness of a calendar flip as a guidepost for new beginnings, I can’t help but get a bit caught up in the excitement.

Shiny new calendars, flipped to a crisp blank page. So full of promise, whispering “you can do it! THIS is the year…. use me!”

But as with anything, to move forward, we must first look back; for every beginning, there is a corresponding ending.

I find it comforting, enlightening, and grounding to review the year gone by.

I have found that diving directly into future-focused visioning and planning can be a real disservice, robbing me of the biggest opportunity and gift I possess: that of learning from my own experience.

It is so tempting to keep moving, ignoring the inevitable bumps, U-turns, and messiness of our real lives. But that is where the start, the seed, the true gold of any change or transformation lies.

So let’s mine this gold, dig into the fertile ground that is 2015, and prepare it for the upcoming planting of new goals, visions, and intentions!


  1. Gather up any calendars, planners, or any other tracking tools you’ve used over the past year.
  2. I like to create a simple 1-page summary of all the year’s highlights, to have an easy reference point. I break this down into categories, such as: Work, Family, Travel, Partner, Social, Financial, Health, Creative, and any other specific area that may be pertinent for the year.
  3. I then take out my journal, and reflect on the following:
    • What were my wins in 2015?  Where did I excel, exceed my expectations, do something I thought I couldn’t do, get praise or validation on?  How did I rock it? 
    • What were my challenges in 2015?  Where did I feel I failed, or didn’t live up to my expectations?  Where did I shrink, slink away in fear, or give up?  (I give myself permission to be honest, compassionate, and non-judgmental with myself here!) 
    • What do I wish had gone differently?  How would I have changed it, had I had it to do all over again? 
    • What do I need to say goodbye to, to mourn, to thank and let go of? What has reached its natural end? What is no longer working and needs re-thinking or re-working? 
    • What have I learned?  What big or small lessons do I want to take with me into the future I am creating for myself? 
    • What structures can I use to help incorporate these lessons into my upcoming year? Where do I need help, and how am I going to find and ask for it?

I find these questions to be supremely powerful, a kind of inner cleanse, a detox that only confronting your deepest truth can provide.

I wish for you a joyful, peaceful and insightful 2015-review session, in laying the groundwork for a richly full and transformative 2016!

Do share your thoughts, insights, and questions below – I love to hear from you!

To your ongoing reinvention, transformation, and evolution.

With much love,

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