5 Stages of Reflection: PREP!


The calm of the holiday season and the impending new year has inspired personal reflection over the last week. It’s been a constant as I’ve gone about my semi-regular routine, finishing up tasks in the office before break, shopping from my iPhone, wrapping gifts, cleaning out clutter, or just spending time on the couch by the light of the Christmas tree. I’ve even gone all the way back to 2014 in the blog and reread Adios 2014, HELLO 2015! a post I wrote at the end of 2014, thinking about moving away from a difficult year and into new opportunities.

I haven’t decided yet if knowing the challenges ahead of us, just on the other side of 2017, is helpful in setting my own personal expectations for the year or a burden. On one hand, I’d much rather know, it gives us time to prepare, but on the other there is so much unknown that comes with a bone marrow transplant that preparation is sometimes futile. It will come, in whatever form it comes, and we will have to be flexible as we make our way through the year. But, in true Emily fashion, a year of anticipated challenge will not stop me from pushing forward in becoming the individual I want to be.

Today is my last day in the office before our holiday break, I am lucky enough to have personal time off to be able to secure ten days to focus on myself, Justin, family, and what is to come in 2017. After today I will be putting myself through a reflection and goal setting process using Lara Casey’s PowerSheets, a gift I purchased for myself, after stalking their social media feeds for weeks.  PowerSheets are a guided goal setting process, designed and redesigned by the company Cultivate What Matters, to give people space to be reflective, intentional, and stay consistent throughout the year with their own personal goals.

The more that I think about WHAT I want to be in 2017, the more I reframe questions to myself about WHO I want to be. My ideal version of Emily, who is she and who is she to the people she interacts with? How can she be better to herself and those she loves?

I imagine preparing for 2017 will be an interesting and complex process, happening in FIVE different stages:

  1. Preparing for Reflection
  2. 2016 Reflection
  3. Identifying the Strengths & Challenges from 2016
  4. Determine Opportunities for Growth
  5. Develop Goals & Action Plans

2016 tested me in more ways than I could ever have imagined, in some cases I was proud of the person I presented to the world, and in others I saw opportunities for growth. It was an eye opening experience, and I am ready to take what 2016 was, reflect on it, and really think intentionally about what 2017 can be. I’ll be writing about it along the way, including taking you on a tour of the PowerSheets as I begin to dive into them.

Reflection and Goal Setting aren’t stagnant processes, but rather customizable for each individual. Tell me, how do you approach the new year and setting goals for yourself?



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