Each year we do evaluation and reflection. It’s a process I don’t necessarily enjoy but I know it’s part of the art of thriving. I know some people love this process (my husband) but for me it’s hard. I’m overly critical of myself and tend to see all the things that didn’t go as planned or the disappointments and dwell on those. The process is so needed though so we can see all the things that were indeed good, what shaped us (the good and the bad), acknowledge where God was at work and see if we are headed on the trajectory we want to go. We have to look back so that we can move forward well.
Normally Matt and I do our reflection individually and then talk about what we discovered. This year we decided to have our kids take part as well. We want to model healthy practices and often they don’t even know what those are because we don’t necessarily talk about it, we just do it. Just like our faith, we have to verbalize the process along the way.
So last night we all sat at the table and did these reflection questions with our kids that I found from @coachhenness on IG:
- 10 highlights (accomplishments, memories, etc)
- 5 Disappointments (failures, missed opportunities)
- 3 Game Changers (things that changed your priorities)
- 3 areas of focus (what you spent most of your time on)
- 3 things you forgot (things you didn’t get around to)
- Now write your year end reflection (How does this inform your plans for next year?)
I was so surprised at our kids ability (I mean, I do have an 11 year old boy in the mix) to really reflect and evaluate. It led to some deep and meaningful conversations especially about the losses and anxiety of the last year with our almost 15 year old. Our 11 year old also noted that he wanted to be more honest this year. Doing this together was more more meaningful and insightful than I anticipated.
Here are some additional questions that Matt and I use along with those:
- What are the 2-3 themes that personally defined the year for me?
- What people, books, accomplishments, or special moments created highlights?
- Give yourself a grade from 1-10 in the following areas of focus for the year: (These came from a book called Oikonomics that we loved.)
- What am I working on that is BIG for 2022 and beyond?
- As I move into 2022, is a majority of my energy being spent on things that drain me or things that energize me?
- How am I preparing for 10 years from now? 20 years from now?
- What 2-3 things have I been putting off that I need to execute on before the end of the year?
- Do I have a word of the year for 2022?
9.What work do I love to do? What work brings me the most satisfaction? What is my unique ability?
10.What work do I not enjoy? Should stop doing or minimize?
11. Goals for each of these areas:
As you sit with yourself in this process, be gentle and compassionate. Ask God to show you where He was at work, what you can celebrate and wisdom to take into the future.
Also, don’t feel like you have to do all of these questions or all of your reflection in one sitting. I’m still working through mine. As with all things, it is a process and it’s okay to go at your own pace.
If you decide to do this as a family I’d love to hear how it goes.