Dear Mind Mapping graduate
As 2012 draws to a close I thought I would share with you a yearly review process I have been taking myself through for the last 5-6 years. Some years ago I was referred to a book called “My best year yet” by Jinny Ditzler, and this process is an adaptation from that along with other resources I have come across over time.
Most of us take a break over the Christmas/New Year period and somewhere in that timeframe I allocate a couple of hours to reflect on the year that has just passed and acknowledge all that has happened. Armed with my notepad and coloured pens, I take myself off to a café or just enjoy the breeze sitting on the verandah at my in-laws home, wherever a relaxing or enjoyable spot may be. I find this a helpful and encouraging process as it is about taking stock for the year, looking at what I have achieved, things I have learnt along the way, resources I may have drawn upon, and what the key highlights and the lowlights have been as each offers different learnings. It is so easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of life and the rushing forward to the next project, however taking time out to reflect on the journey to date and acknowledge what has been achieved I have found quite rewarding.
Below is a Mind Map created on my iPad which you might like to use as a starting point for your own reflections. As part of the review, you might think about the various aspects of your life, what you achieved, what went well, perhaps what didn’t go so well, what you might do differently and so on.
This is just a draft map and you might take a big picture view of those highlights etc or to help in your recall, you might like to think of the various areas of your life (e.g. family/friends, career, home, interests, etc) and each of these could become the main branches with sub-branches to capture what you have achieved, highlights, lowlights etc. Mind Maps are quick to create so see what works for you.
In beginning the process of reflecting on my own year, it occurred to me this weekend at our annual Christmas Street Party, that something I initiated some years ago now has actually been happening for the last 15 years. It felt significant. When we originally moved into our street (fortunately a no through one) I wanted to create a sense of community, to meet with our neighbours and for children to have the opportunity of playing in the street (a fond memory I have of growing up in country Victoria). Each year I put a notice in the letterboxes and everyone gathers in front of our home, bringing food and drink to share and Santa arrives for the children. Our street party was definitely a highlight of mine in that first year. Now as it seems to tick over each year, I can hardly believe that 15 years has passed (another 32 lolly bags this year) and a whole new generation of little ones have come to live in our street. I guess a bit like savings, a small idea and investment in time has grown over the years and has now almost accumulated a life force of its own.
Taking time out to reflect on your year is about celebrating the journey to date and this year’s 15th Christmas Street Party will definitely appear on my highlights. I wonder what highlights you had this year? What achievements you have made? What life challenges you may have faced and what resources you have drawn upon to overcome them?
Finally, I wish you a very happy Christmas and some space to celebrate 2012 before launching into the New Year! For those of you thinking ahead, yes this is a two part process with the second part being about setting goals and aspirations for the New Year however stay tuned…
Until then, happy 2012 reviewing!
Best wishes, Marion