Think about your pantry for a minute (bear with me). Mentally open the door and peer inside. What do you see?
The shelves are probably full of spices, condiments, baking supplies, and maybe even that secret bag of chips you’ve been dying to get into, right?
Now, you head to the grocery store to stock up for the week. You’ve just lugged your groceries into your kitchen and dropped them on the counter. You open the pantry door, and breathe a heavy sigh. It’s going to take a full-on miracle for you to find room to put all the new stuff in because all the old stuff is taking up the space!
The same is true when we move into a brand-new year.
2020 has definitely dished out its fair share of messiness and clutter. So, it’s super important to clear all that out so you can make room for all the cool, exciting things that you want to make happen in 2021.
But before you start mentally purging like you’re on an episode of Hoarders, it helps to stop and take a moment to reflect. Consider what it is you want to leave behind and think about what you want to carry forward. Here are some ways you can start to do just that.
How to Look Back
As you well know, the life of a wellness clinician is, well… busy. You’re busy seeing patients, managing their ongoing care, staying on top of clinical and business info, and so on. All of that, plus everything you have going on in your personal life, leaves little time to do anything else.
It’s hard to find time to slow down enough to reflect. But doing so – even if it’s for just a few moments – will pay out big dividends, my friend. Taking time to quiet your mind and get clear about what’s important not only changes how you view yourself and those around you, but it can also help you cope better with life’s challenges.¹ And if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that life can throw some crazy curveballs!
So, grab a piece of paper and a pen. Find somewhere that’s quiet, and answer the following questions:
- What did you do super well in 2020?
- What areas could you up your game a bit?
- What are some of the major lessons you learned?
Answer these for your practice, your personal life, your relationships – and all the different aspects of who you are and what you have going on.
How to Look Ahead
Being a clinician and running a business is not for the faint of heart. It’s a constant learning experience, but it’s soooo rewarding. Once you’ve taken the time to look back and give some thought to what this year was like, it’s time to make an about face and look forward. Let’s put some thought to how you want to show up better in 2021.
So, now it’s time to get a new sheet of paper and jot down the answers to these Q’s:
- How do you want your life to look in 2021? Do you want more patients? Do you want to work less? Or to double your revenue? Maybe you’ve got your eye on that new office space, or want to go completely virtual? Narrow it down to just five things, and don’t be afraid to get creative.
- For those five objectives, how will you go about doing them? Start putting legs to each one by writing down the HOW’s, and get specific. For example, “going virtual” is way too vague. Instead, try saying, “In January, I’m going to work on the details to start my virtual practice. The first week, I’ll inquire about legal issues and check with state licensing boards. The second week, I’ll research online platforms. The third week, I’ll make a decision about which to use and begin setting it up.” By creating goals for each week that are measurable and can be completed in the allotted time frame, by the end of the month, you’ll have made significant progress toward your goal!
I know it can be a challenge to complete this exercise but I promise….. the risk of NOT growing is greater than the cost of taking the time to write all this out. I don’t want you to end up being in the same exact spot one year from now. And I know you don’t want it either.
I know you’re MORE than ready to say goodbye to this year (I know I sure am!). But before we can blow the doors off 2021, we need to finish well with tired, old 2020. No matter how challenging it was, this year ended up being full of situations that shaped and molded who we are. It’d sure be a shame to waste all those lessons.
So, let’s finish strong and cross into the New Year with a clear and open mind and welcome in all the possibilities that 2021 holds. Be sure and block out some time this week to reflect, write down your objectives, and get ready to strut confidently into 2021!
For more tips on how you can close out your year, check out our latest podcast.
1. (2019, May 23). Self-Reflection: What It Is, Benefits, and How to Do It – Healthline. Retrieved December 7, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/time-for-some-self-reflection