Episode 6: Reflecting on 2020 and Planning 2021!
Click below to download a copy of our reflection questions and planning steps:
Well gals, we’ve come to the end of, what has been, a crazy, unprecedented year. Not only did we make it through (for now), COVID shut downs, but we also came out the other side and have been working towards some sort of normal routine and lifestyle again.
As you know, the end of the year has come about very quickly - too quickly for my liking - but it’s also a very important step to take the time to reflect on what has been the year so far, and help us to look forward with some strong, actionable and realistic goals into 2021.
So this podcast is going to take us through a couple of activities focused on some self-reflection and review, and then using this to inform some motivational goal setting for the new year.
If you’re driving or walking and listening to this, just mull over the questions I”ll be asking and then come back to it. I’d love you to take 30 to 60 minutes during your day or week this week to write down what I’m asking, pop me on pause between the questions or activities and work your way through it. You’ll find that it will do wonders for setting you up for a successful start to 2021!
Ok first things first, let’s start with some reflection - and I know, the year has been a total write off for some of us, but I bet if you look closely, you’ll still find you’ve achieved small wins.
I really do love doing this at the end of the year. Taking the time to smell the roses and really dig into what the year that was, WAS for me.
And because here at Burn, we’re big on whole-self health (or holistic health), we’re not just going to focus on your fitness or just your food/nutrition, but the whole person.
So, I need you to grab a piece of paper or a journal and write this down (and as I mentioned, for those driving, come back to this as it’s important that it’s written down as you reflect).
We’re going to give each section we’ll go through a rating out of 10. 10 being you absolutely smashed it/couldn’t have been any better/were in flow and felt easy and comfortable. Your 10 may be different to my 10 or your friend’s 10. But you should know what a 10 feels like for you. We then dig in a little more and write out WHY we have given this section of our health that number. Be honest and really drill down to the few reasons why it mightn’t have been as good as you had hoped.
Ok! So the first section we’ll look at is your physical health.
Now this is a combination of your actual exercise and fitness, but also physically how you’ve felt this year (i.e. have you been frequently sick or injured etc). Generally, where does this sit for you?
For me, I’m going to give myself probably a 8. I had some seriously great weeks and months where I was moving my body regularly, felt fit and strong and healthy. But I also had big troughs where I fell down and didn’t do much and let my fitness fall by the wayside (If you remember my podcast on motivation - podcast #2 - I spoke about ‘busy-ness’ getting in the way of my fitness, which is a self-sabotage response of mine).
Now you’ve given that a number, I want you to dig in a little deeper. Why did you give your physical health this number? I’ve already mentioned it above, but my number isn’t higher because I lacked the consistency. I’ve been working on rectifying it for the last couple of months, knowing I didn’t want to end up on NYE making the same resolution of ‘losing 5kgs and getting fit’ that I had for the last 3 years - instead I want the resolution of ‘maintaining my fitness and health’.
Cool! Ok, now let’s look at your nutrition and food. What number do you give this? I’m giving myself a 6. My downfall is I love my food and wine too much - and I think I used the excuse of ‘exercising lots during the lives we were running through covid to eat way more than my body really needed’. So I know that I’d like to clean up my diet more during the week, giving myself the ease off on the weekend. I also know I need to work on some of the food guilt I feel too, and enjoy food firstly for its nutritional value, but secondly as a social activity.
And I recon this one has pulled many of you up this year. COVID and being locked at home made those snacks and additional glasses of wine during the week WAY too easy! So be honest. There have been circumstances that have impacted this number that aren’t normal, but still acknowledge them and notice any patterns that have remained.
Thirdly, let’s look at your mindset - this will be slightly different for each of us, but can include things like our mental health, our sleeping, our emotional health, our mindfulness practices etc. What do you rate this?
For me I’d rate this as around an 8. I have no issue sleeping, and have remained relatively healthy mentally (and happy) this year, but I have been very inconsistent with my mindfulness practices which I know are super important to me. These include journaling regularly, stretching my body, and also some ‘quiet mind time’ or ‘meditation’. I like to try to calm and empty my mind and just breathe in the morning to set myself up for the day.
Great! So the next section is your professional life, or your work/job/business etc. Let’s rate this. Once again, this will differ depending on what you do and what your focused on. For me, I’m rate this as an 8. There were some seriously scary and rocky days there during the initial shut down with COVID, but we came back fighting fit. For you, it doesn’t need to be how well your business is going, or your success up the ladder in your office, but could be as simple as enjoyment of your work, fulfilment, friendship etc. Knowing you’re doing something that gets you up in the morning. And if that number isn’t high, then what’s getting in the way?
Social/Family and friends
And finally, let’s look at your social health. This is all about family and friends, and once again will differ depending on what’s important to you currently.
This can be a mixture of the amount of time you’re able to spend with friends and family, how you feel when you’re with your fam and friends (i.e. stressed because you should (in inverted commas) be working? Are you a good friend? Are you spending enough time making new friends or acquaintances? And you spending quality time with the people that are important in your life? Try to keep the covid situation aside during this as it turned our social lives on its head!
Depending on your rating, ask yourself why you’ve chosen this rating? Was it because of the time spent? Or quality time? Would you like to make some new friends? Grow your family? Invite a fur baby to join your family?
Ok! We’ve now completed a health and wellbeing audit across your whole-self health. And hopefully you can see where the gaps may fall, or the areas that might need some love moving into 2021.
Before we move into goal setting and using the above to help us plan out 2021, there’s a few additional questions to ask yourself, or to ask a friend.
Emma my best friend introduced me to this and we like to do this together on new years eve (or somewhere close to that date) each year. It gives you all the feel good vibes and makes you really reflect positively on the year, and as I mentioned before, smell the roses (which we aren’t all that great at!)
Now, we’ve popped together a download of the below questions, as well as the questions to ask yourself when completing your whole-self health audit, and you can access this by going to our show notes on the website for this podcast - www.burntheory.com.au/blog/ending2020
- What was your biggest triumph?
- What was the smartest decision you made?
- What one word best sums up and describes your experience?
- What was the greatest lesson you learned?
- What was the most loving service you performed?
- What is your biggest piece of unfinished business?
- What are you most happy about completing?
- Who were the three people that had the greatest impact on your life?
- What was the biggest risk you took?
- What was the biggest surprise?
- What important relationship improved the most?
- What compliment would you liked to have received?
- What compliment would you liked to have given?
- What else do you need to do or say to be complete with this program/challenge?
That was quite a reflection! But it’s very important that before we start looking forward and planning out our future, we need to recognise and understand what happened in our past and what we’ve learnt, or need to focus on moving forward.
Planning for 2021
Planning is important for us to focus our energy into something and create a pathway to actually achieve it. It also gives us a chance to create some excitement and positive energy around what we’re focusing on.
Because we’re a health and fitness business, we’ll focus a little more on that side of things, but you can also use the below questions and steps to help you focus and plan any aspect of your life!
So first things first, I want to encourage you to take some time with this. Block out a few good hours or even half a day if you can. I want you to get stuck in, to feel totally immersed in this so you’re digging up any issues and overcoming obstacles (in theory) now, rather than later which will likely knock you off your goal path.
I LOVE to do this! It usually takes to be honest, your brain about 30 minutes to switch from a previous activity and really focus in on what you’re doing, so if you’re only giving yourself 30 minutes to plan, its likely you’re not 100% focused on this and will do a mediocre job. My business planning takes me a full day with a room and walls full of sticky notes, but its a great way to motivate me and my team into the new year. For my personal goals, I ensure I have some quite space, usually out on the deck with some fresh air on my beanbag, and plenty of note books. Usually the reflection activity above will then naturally focus my attention on the areas I need to look at, but I make sure to set aside a solid few hours to do this.
We then want to focus on the first 90 days (or 3 months) of the year. Focusing any further than that and it’s just too far away for us to visualise ourselves there. It gets a little hazy, and when it’s hazy, it’s easier for us to go off our path and into the forest!
Ok now that those two key things are out of the way, grab your pens and paper, find some space and let’s dig in!
Dream big and brainstorm opportunities
Armed with your reflection pieces, let’s firstly brainstorm your opportunities and your big dreams. Look at where the gaps or ‘opportunities’ are for improvement that are evident in the reflection piece and consider your big dreams. You might find that you only gave yourself a 5 in your fitness and health, and that lines up with your vision or bigger goal of being able to comfortably run 5km. You might have found you lacked a bit in the nutrition department and so your focus for the first quarter is to reduce your sugar intake or alcohol intake.
Dream big here - don’t let anything hold you back. We’ll get to the ‘realistic’ portion of the planning shortly.
Secondly this is my favourite step and makes sure that your planning is honest and related directly to you, your lifestyle and what’s important for you.
One thing that is just as important as those big opportunities or goals is to look at your non-negotiables. What are you not willing to do or experience or even cut out, to reach those goals or to enjoy your lifestyle? It’s a big question. What are you not willing to do, to cut out or to experience when you’re on your path to your goals?
This is different for everyone, but be honest here. What are the things in your life that are non-negotiable? Such as spending time with the family on a sunday over working, or it might be that you just really hate getting up early to exercise so there’s no point making that part of your goals. Really ask yourself what is important when it comes to your happiness and to your ideal lifestyle.
For me, taking some time out of everything to spend it with my partner friends and family once a month is non-negotiable, even if it comes to my fitness. I’m not talking about a holiday each and every month, but even if it’s a weekend away with my partner, or going to the shack, or even just a slightly more food-heavy weekend with my friends. Having this social time where I take all pressure and guilt off is a non-negotiable for me.
Ok, so now we’ve gone through that, the next thing is to ask yourself what you’re going to STOP doing. What did you hate doing, brought you no joy or even stressed you out this year that you definitely don’t want to take with you into 2021?
Put a stake in the sand. Declare you won’t continue doing that or you’ll let that go in 2021.
For me it’s saying no on the weekends to invitations in order to continue to do what I’m caling ‘busy-work’ - work that will get done regardless but makes me feel busy so I limit my social and family time because of it. What’s yours?
Look back to move forward
We started doing this in the first component of our planning, but let’s come back to it. Look back over your 2020 year and your reflection pieces and find those areas you want to focus on and choose some goals. You might want to choose a goal in each section or some random goals, but a little hint here. Don’t try to create more than 3 big goals. Doesn’t mean you cant focus on other areas of your whole-self health, but not every area can be a scary big massive goal otherwise it’s too much and you end up not meeting any.
Find 2-3 of your key goals first. Relate them back to your non-negotiables and your ‘stop doings’
Now are there any other areas that are less scary and big, but still could benefit from some tweaking? For me it’s maintaining my fitness routine I’m currently in. It’s not a big goal, rather a maintenance goals. I also want to continue to eat better during the week (another maintenance goal). So as you can see, there can be big scary goals, but there can also be some maintenance goals that aren’t quite as time consuming or brain consuming.
This section is going to take the longest. You should have your calendars out, your fresh 2021 diaries out and start mapping out how you’re going to get to this goal in the next 90 days. Some ways to focus on this that can help you are:
- Break it down into smaller goals - so say you wanted to run 5km without stopping by the end of March 2021. That means by mid-Feb, you need to be about to run around 2.5-3km without stopping, and then by around 20-21st Jan, that equates to around 1.5km. It makes it much easier to then plan how you reach that 1.5km rather than try to reach the 5km over 3 months.
- I like to look at the specific activities I need to do each week to work towards the goal. Write these down and MAKE TIME for these in your schedule. For example, if you’re wanting to clean up your diet, the activity you need to do each week is to organise your meals (meaning shopping and some prep work).
- Then just work through your goals and check them off against the SMART goal principles:
- Specific: your goal must be clear and defined - detailed and precise
- Measurable: make sure you can actually measure improvement or success against it. This might be a time, date, number or amount requirement
- Attainable: your goal must be something that you can reasonably attain whilst getting you motivated to strive. That means it’s not impacting your non-negotiables, your ability to actually put the time in (i.e. if you wanted to be a marathon runner when you’ve never run before and complete your first marathon at the end of January, there’s likely not enough time to train up to that.
- Realistic - similar to attainable, are they actually realistic?
- Time bound - meaning there’s a completion point.
Now we’ve done the hard work of planning it all out, here comes the mindset. You know that without the right mindset, it’s really hard to reach a certain goal. Every success and failure usually begins in your mind. You now need to ask yourself what kind of person you need to be to hit those goals, to hit the finish line and reach that success. Who do you need to be?
This goes deeper than what you need to do, which is often what we focus on, but if we don’t have a matching identity to that what, then it’s not going to work. For example, say you do want to run 5km, but you currently identify as someone who hates running and will never be good at it. There’s no way you’re going to meet that goal. Instead you need to be that person who is a runner. Who likes to run and who likes to be fit. And to be honest, sometimes you need to fake it till you make it. YOu aren’t necessarily a good runner straight away, but tell yourself that. Trick your brain on focusing on that thought process, which in turn over time will build that identity.
So think about what thoughts will keep you moving forward and what ones will hold you back? If you want to be a fit and active person, you need to become and think like someone who is fit and active. Speak to yourself like you’re fit and active. Always ask yourself ‘What would a fit and active person do in this situation’ when you are having doubts or self-sabotage.
An example of mine is this: I want to focus on getting into a flow state across all aspects of my life. I want to be fit and healthy, to spend time with family and to succeed in my business. In order to do this I need to be the type of person that takes some time to focus on their mindset and practice gratitude, meditation and mindfulness each day. As such, I know I need to build some time into my schedule to make that happen. It’s not good enough for me to say I’m going to be that in flow person, I need to take the actions but also BECOME that in flow person - make my mindset match my outer actions.
Bit woo woo I know, but take some time here to think this through and work out where there’s some thing or thoughts holding you back and what type of person (what type of thoughts etc) you need to be or have.
And finally gals, it’s now time to take action! We have the plan set out - and I hope it’s a beauty (it will be if we worked through the above). So now’s the time to really set down a date or a time that you commence this. As this is towards the end of the year, it is likely going to be a New Years plan. Choose the date you will commence in the new year and make sure you start it on this date.
And a big hint here - do this before you head into the Christmas and New Year period. Take the time and make sure it’s completed prior to the end of the year as there’s nothing worse than hitting the new year and feeling unfocused or unsure where to start. By having a plan of attack now and taking the time, you’re truly setting yourself up for a green light 2021!
Well gals, that’s a wrap!
I really hope that you get stuck into this process - enjoy it and take some time with it. It really feels so good to reflect and recognise your successes (and even some failures) from the year that’s been, and then truly set yourself up for the new year.
Let us know how you go in our Facebook group or leave us a review or comment below.
Until next year - have a fantastic Christmas and New Year!