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What are Your Biggest Lessons of 2016? Did You Learn This…


What are Your Biggest Lessons of 2016? Did You Learn This...

As you look back over 2016, what are your biggest lessons learned? How will you use them going forward?

Amid all the year-end, 4th quarter, holiday hustle and bustle, the last thing you might want is another to-do item. But I highly suggest one in particular: Set aside a bit of quiet time for an end-of-the-year inventory.

Often I’ll offer a list of personal / professional growth questions for you to answer. In fact, you can find 21 questions here, which will serve as a terrific start.

But this year I’d like to also offer some alternatives.

Spark this year proved to me that many of us – dare I say most of us, if my work appeals to you – are ready to dive deep. 

We want to accomplish goals and exceed expectations, but we want to do so with meaning and purpose at the forefront. 

We want to clarify what matters most in our work, leadership, and lives, and then honor that. 

We want to feel a sense of alignment, to know we’re making a difference, and to succeed using our own purposeful definition of success. 

The phrase I coined years ago to describe people I tend to work with – Meaningful Achievers – still fits perfectly. We want to accomplish big things, but in a meaningful, purposeful way.

So, in addition to my typical end-of-the-year questions, I’m journaling on some alternative ones, too. I encourage you to do the same. As you reflect on 2016:

  • What moments were so beautiful, peaceful, or extraordinary that they took your breath away?
  • What relationships did you strengthen and now find very important?
  • What did you do differently this year? What were the results?
  • What hard things did you navigate? What helped you through? What did you learn?
  • What fears did you face?
  • What adventures or challenges did you embrace for the first time?
  • Who has inspired you? What is it about him/her that you admire?

Block an hour or an afternoon on your calendar. Head to a place where you can reflect, write, and be inspired. Take as little as possible with you – perhaps just a notebook or journal and writing utensil.

Then, reflect. Open wide. Pour out onto the paper your 2016 experience.

Of course I encourage you to create your goals, plans, and dreams for 2017 too, but celebrate all the ways in which you’ve grown this year first. You’ve come a long way since January 1 – even if at first blush it doesn’t seem like it! Let that elevate you as you then dream and envision your stellar 2017.

Enjoy your alternative review!

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