So here we are a new year! What will 2014 hold for you? What are you looking forward to or maybe even dreading? What did you learn from this last year?

IMG_0338The start of a new year gives a  natural opportunity to appraise how the last year has gone and make preparations for the months that lie ahead.

Søren Kierkegaard has  a helpful quote that says, “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forward.”

Those who do not learn from the past are invariably doomed to repeat the same mistakes or find themselves getting stuck in their relationships or other areas of their life. It is so easy to reach a lid to your potential. As someone has said, there is a world of difference between 30 years of experience and 1 year of experience repeated 30 times!

So with that in mind how was this last year for you? What are the lessons you learnt that you are going to aim to move forward in 2014?

I am grateful to Michael Hyatt for the following questions to appraise 2013 and look ahead to 2014. I will also share my answers with you to help you think through your thoughts about 2014. I would strongly encourage you to also write down your own answers and not just keep them in your head. As we write, our thoughts begin to disentangle themselves and bring clarity in a way that is otherwise just not possible.
As I share the questions below I have added some of my own reflections to help you think through your own experiences. If you want more clarification from me feel free to ask in the comments section below. My hope for you as I indulge myself in this way publicly is that you will be prompted to have insights that will put you in a stronger positions for whatever this new year has in store for you.

1. If the last year of your life were a movie what genre would it be?
Would it, for example, be an adventure, a comedy of errors, a romance or a suspense mystery?
For me it was more like a slow foreign film where on one level not a lot seemed to be happening, but the apparent smallest things (conversations, apparent chance meetings and silent decisions) ended up having a major impact in one way or another.

2. What were the two or three major themes that kept recurring?
– That it is so important for me to work in key close relationship with others.
– How I need regular rest and to keep my energy levels up to prevent discouragement or negative feelings.
– The power of being clear as to what I do best and find ways to delegate my areas of weakness. Or as a friend recently said, ‘do what you do best, and outsource the rest.’

3. What did you accomplish this year that you are most proud of?
– Getting to keep this blog post going weekly!
– Taking up opportunities to give leadership and personal development training in India and the UK
– Fulfilling a 10 year dream to learn photo reading from the founders in the US.

4. What do you feel you should have been acknowledged for, but weren’t?
– Seeing  a number of relationships transformed for the better.
– Persevering through some complex work related issues.

5. What disappointments and regrets did you experience this last year?
– Starting too many things and not following through as much as I would like.
– Being too busy to connect with my family as much as I would want.

6. What was missing from this last year as you look back?
– A closer involvement with family.
– My need for time alone to write and process away from distraction.

7. What major life lessons did you learn from this last year?
– Don’t take other people’s disinterest or silence personally.
– Aim to go an inch wide and a mile deep in the relationships that matter.
– I can use Paralimnials and Holosync technology to deepen my prayer life. (I do not necessarily endorse all the philosophy behid these resources, but have personally benefitted from them. I am not in any way sponsored by the companies concerned).

Those are some of my reflections on this last year.
For more thoughts and ideas about the new year see: Why I Don’t Believe in New Year Resolutions and 5 Keys to Making New Year Resolutions That Can Actually Succeed Part 1 and Part 2. In terms of what I shared last year I have continued to maintain my daily Bible reading plan, but my weight has stayed at the same level. I suppose I am thankful that it has not actually gone up! I am going to have to more resolutely apply the 5 keys (that are mentioned in those posts) more diligently. I have to confess in the area of weight control I did not do so!

How about you? What questions or issues resonate with you?

It would be great to have your thought and comments as we move forward into a new year.