Take 15 Minutes to Look Back

I woke up at 2:30 this morning, thinking about the next year, next steps. I do this often when I have something on my mind, like a big idea or project or meeting. Or in this case, the year is ending and I’m getting amped up for the coming year.


I’m the kind of person who HAS to always be moving forward. In fact, if I’m not moving forward, I feel like I’m falling backward.

But one lesson I seem to always forget is to look back and see what I have actually accomplished.

I’m a goal-oriented, future-facing person. I live for the challenge, for the next summit to conquer.

So I hate to look back. I don’t want to dwell in the past, rather I want to push on toward the next thing.

But I know that’s not healthy, or even right. I acknowledge a huge part of this whole thing called life is also looking back, measuring, reflecting, savoring the joy of another year on earth.

So 12 hours later, I found myself writing about the steps I took and the accomplishments I made in the last year.

I spent 15-20 minutes going through my calendar for the past year (the best way of seeing what I had done). I started by trying to think off the top of my head, but realized the biggies were most likely all on my calendar and they were.

All in all, I listed out about 30-plus incredible experiences, moments, events I was most proud of. (And I know I didn’t capture all of them.)

But after I was done and started to review it … the funniest observation occurred to me:

None of it had to do with money.

On further scrutiny, it all had to do with people. Specifically time with people I like, enjoy, cherish and love. Those were my most beloved moments and accomplishments.

The second category I saw in the events I recorded would be impact. Doing something that had an impact on another person’s life meant a ton to me.

And the final category would be learning.

What a refreshing reminder — people, impact and learning — those are indeed the things I treasure most.

And now I realized I’ve been robbing myself of feeling the joy of my accomplishments for years by not doing this simple 15-minute exercise.

It helped me to …

  • Remember — the awesome things I achieved and experienced through the year.
  • Savor and Celebrate — the memories and experiences again, the good things I’ve used my time, talent and treasure to do.
  • Be Grateful — yet again for the opportunity to experience and achieve them.
  • Remind Myself — Some things in life need to be put on Repeat.

Here’s to 2015. A great year.

And as for 2016, I’m even more optimistic and eager and excited to start on that journey …. but I hope to remember this little exercise so I can relive the awesomeness of another 365 days on earth.

So I’ll just go ahead right now and put a reminder of it on my calendar for 2016 so I can do all this again.

The post Take 15 Minutes to Look Back appeared first on iThemes.


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