Wanna give yourself a really great gift this holiday season?? Here’s how: take a close, reflective look at the past year. Yes, seriously! It’s a gift of untold value offering guidance for how to move into the future with intention and create more meaning in the day-to-day.

As Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard once said, “Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forwards.” In order for us to live our best life going forward, we must first take more than a passing glance in the rearview mirror. Reflection is the key to moving into our next phase (I like to refer to this as my Next Level Self) armed with the knowhow to live a life rooted in our core values, create more meaning, and make more intentional choices about our habits and behaviors (stay tuned for more on how to cultivate helpful habits in next month’s article).

Another famous philosopher, John Dewey, reminds us that experience is not our best teacher, but reflection is. (according to the knower of all things – aka Google – the exact quote is: “We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience”). So how do we take this important step of reflecting on the past so we can shape our future to our desires? I utilize a few tools such as my calendar, my journal, and my digital photo album (if you have an actual photo album, I’m both impressed and jealous!).

Here’s the basic process:

1. Begin waaay back at the beginning of the year and go month by month, jotting down significant experiences from each. I also reference my vision boards (in my case it’s plural because I love vision boards!) to see what my hopes for the year were and what has and hasn’t manifested.

2. Ask yourself these questions as you review the notes you made -> (shoutout to Malena Putnam, Brand Strategist, for helping me hone this process): What do I want more of in the coming year? What do I want less of? These questions help both identify goals and recognize how you want to embody the process of getting to those goals (this combines our “doing” energy and our “being” energy).

3. Then ask, “What are one or two action steps I can commit to now that will bring me closer to my Next Level Self, to my goals and desired way of  showing up in my life and in the world?” Keep these actions small (i.e., doable) and write them down. This simple yet effective process will help you be intentional about how you spend your time and energy as you work toward your goals in the upcoming year (and beyond) and experience a life you love to live!

Want to dig in to plan a year of intention for 2023? Join Malena and I at our 2023 Vision Mastermind for your business, life, and brand on Dec. 9th in person at our new offices at Yay on Broadway in Downtown Edmond. Use promo code yayvision to save $50 off your ticket. A gift from me to you for being a Yay  Dude fan.



Follow Julie on Instagram (@juliereising) and Facebook (thejuliereising) or contact her at www.juliereising.com to schedule a FREE Rediscovery Call to find out how she can help you meet your Next Level Self.




Cheers from our Yay Dude team: Edmond Family Eye Care, Hott Wings & Commonplace Books of Edmond