… is what people tend to do at this time of year.
One door – on 2016 – is about to be shut. Another, into 2017, is about to open.
What goes on in our minds at this time?
Reflection on the past 12 months.
Reflection on how it all went.
Reflection on our lives.
Reflection on our relationships with loved ones, friends and colleagues.
Reflection on work. Our careers. Our jobs. Our income.
Reflection on our home. Our community. Our neighbourhood.
Reflection on our country. Reflection on world events.
The news. The sport. The weather. The fun. The serious. The silly. The morbid.
Those brought into the world.
Those who departed.
It’s not necessarily the easiest of times.
Christmas feels like it’s over (even though it still has some life to breathe before it ends for another year).
The new year approaches…
Some will view it with fear or trepidation. Some will view it with the thought 2017 will be no different to any other. Some will view it with immense optimism.
Reflection mirrors how we see the world.
Take this picture, for example.
A beautiful countryside view. Winter green fields, The sun burning through the crisp December air and warming the walker’s body.
Yet viewed from another point – the ridge in the background – this landscape would look very different.
You would describe it as cold, damp, foggy with barely a field to be seen.
Some would drive to the top, curse the fog and simply carry on. Wait for a ‘better day’. Drier. Clearer. More pleasant for a walk, wouldn’t you say?
Yet if they had stopped. If they had walked but half an hour or more… they would have descended into the dale and been welcomed by a view such as this. Bright, dry, crisp. Beautiful
Reflection can work two ways – negatively and positively
What’s your perspective?
What if you only ever walked in the sunshine? Only ever in the spring or summer? Think what you might be missing out on.
What if you only ever drove around in your car… and never stepped out for a walk? Feeling nature under your very feet. Feeling the change in the weather – the brightness of the sun, the thickness of the clouds, the hints or heavy drops of rain, the temperature switching from warm to chill to warm again.
One of my best walks was experienced through torrential rain. Bent double like an old hag with a stick, I made it to the top of a ridge and all the way down to the finish. My weatherproof gear soaked to the core.
But once indoors I felt it. The warmth returning. The drying out process on its way. That reflection on a challenge overcome. That sense of being truly alive.
If you’ve never walked in the hills in the rain you may have no idea what I’m talking about.
You might even think I’m a little mad.
Maybe. But also alive.
With any reflection you do on the past 12 months you might include your business in that.
If your marketing was just the ‘same old, same old’ or presented itself as blandly as the competition you might reflect on the outdoors metaphor.
Can you see through the mist and fog?
Are you willing to move out of your comfort zone to reach a new place?
Will you walk alone or will you meet and make new friends, prospects and customers?
Do you have the right equipment for whatever the day throws at you?
Are you prepared for sudden changes in the weather or other events?
How will you ensure your message is clear and can be heard?
Reflection can offer insight.
Act on the insight.
A new year approaches.