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Looking Back: What are your takeaways from 2020?

Perhaps you are reading the title of this post and wondering why I am writing about looking back when the previous week was dedicated to living in the present.


Dwelling on the past is probably not the healthiest choice, though there is value in looking back and reflect upon our learnings.


When getting closer to the end of the year we sometimes have a tendency to rush into the next. Though preparing to the upcoming year is of utmost relevance – I will write about that next week – taking the time to acknowledge our successes and reflecting about our learnings is equally valuable.


2020 has been a particularly challenging year. It has demanded a great amount of change in ways we did not ask nor expect. It has forced many of us to reinvent ourselves. How can we honor what this demanding year has brought upon us?


May be at first glance all we see are the negatives. But let us dig deeper and ask ourselves what we have learned. What are you most proud of? What brought you joy? What have you achieved that you did not expect?


Get your journal or a notebook and write down these questions and others that come to mind. Then, spend the next few minutes noting down your answers. Take your time, do not rush. If you have the habit of journaling, now could be the time to read your entries and summarize them into one page. When you are done, read it out loud or in your head. How are you feeling? What are you learning? What are your major takeaways? How do you evaluate your success this year?


It may happen that you immediately start judging yourself for what you have not finished or beating yourself up for not having accomplished more. Take a deep breath. Be compassionate, be kind. It is not about checking all the boxes or blaming yourself or others.


Wherever you were when you started the year is not where you are right now. And there is nothing wrong with that. Despite the unexpected twirls you have been through, it is always about the journey. From this year-end review, take what serves you the most and let go of everything else.


You may ask yourself what are the benefits of doing such review, especially considering this year’s hardships. Let me remind you how powerful it is, even more during these demanding times we are living. Self-reflection is all about you and what you want for your life. It is about you being in the driving seat choosing what to keep, what to do more or less of, how to build on what you have learned. This year may have been way harder than anticipated, but it has put things in perspective. Now it is the right time to look back before moving forward.



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