It is that time of year again when we are caught up in holiday festivities having fun and in the back of our mind we know 2017 is just around the corner providing us with a somewhat fresh slate. For many of us, this sense of new beginnings takes us to New Year’s Resolutions, those ambitious ‘to do’s’ we set for ourselves around January 1st.
At the Institute of Curiosity we are reflecting on what our intentions were for this year and what has happened as a result. I (Kathy) had just one intention for this year – to shift from a ‘right/wrong’ perspective to one where I began to appreciate the perspectives of others as a different opinion – no better or worse than mine, just different from mine. I think this really served me well and I have arrived in December more open to others, seeking to understand what their thoughts, beliefs, experiences are all about, recognizing these are unique to that person. I don’t need to own them, agree with them or consider them ‘right or wrong’, just appreciate the deeper understanding I have of this person. Givien the year we have had, this has served me really well. I think I have dissolved what for me was big, that sense of hierarchy where I used to judge people as better of maybe not as compared to me. I now accept everyone as equal and different, a perspective that truly works for me. I think my biggest learning was that when I set an intention around just one thing, I had a greater sense of focusing on and learning from that one intention.
For me (Kirsten), my New Year’s resolution was to have more adventure in my life. I was finding myself in a safe and comfortable routine. Honestly, I was on auto-pilot. I needed change and knew that the only way that would happen was if I made it happen. I also knew I couldn’t do it alone. I felt like I needed to put myself in new, almost uncomfortable, situations in order to remind myself that I am capable of doing more than I am. This year I set out with an ambitious list and made a commitment to say ‘yes’ to things when I would normally say ‘no’. Some things I crossed off my list (moved to a new country, family road trip across USA, sunrise at Grand Canyon, cold calling businesses (my least favorite thing to do), networking differently, travelling more for work, speaking in front of larger audiences etc) while others I am still working towards (TED Talk, NY Times Best Seller list, doing for curiosity what Brene Brown did for empathy, sharing The Power Of Curiosity with Oprah – I mean, who doesn’t want that?!) My biggest learning: I am happiest when I am having fun, admit I can’t do everything, am a bit out of my comfort zone, and authentically me.
Wanting you to succeed in 2017, we have set up a short series (think of it like steps) to help you become curious about you: what you learned this year, where you are now and what you want for yourself for next year
Reflection is a key component to learning. Without it, it is difficult to make change, improve, and grow. Reflection can also be uncomfortable – holding up a mirror, asking difficult questions, admitting to ourselves what worked and what didn’t, and challenging ourselves to approach things differently.
Step 1 to setting yourself up for a successful 2017 is reflecting on 2016. This is going to help you determine your “location” and help you identify what you want from 2017. As you reflect, practice these 3 things:
- Be present and actively listen to what you have to say to yourself.
- Listen with a focus on your own words, openly, free from your judging voice so you can accept yourself right now for the person you are.
- Ask open, non-judging questions for which you have no answer. In the stillness of your reflection, give yourself space and time to allow answers to surface, answers that will hold meaning for you.
Download 2016 – A Year Of Reflection here so you can make 2017 your best year yet.
We want to hear what your resolutions were and how you achieved them, or not. Leave them in the comments below.