Reflect & Review 2023
A creative exercise to examine lessons learned, identify what to release, and what you'll carry into 2024...Plus an additional poetry writing exercise to take away.
Hello, festive ones.
This week, I hosted an End-of-Year Review for the co-working platform I facilitate and coach for.
During the session, we reflected on the events of 2023, delving into our professional and personal lives—celebrating the highs and navigating the challenges. Importantly, we examined the lessons learned, identified what we'll release, and discussed what we'll carry into 2024.
125 people attended, and I feel personally honoured by those who shared their key takeaways from 2023. This session embraced the ups and downs, highs and lows that 2023 brought to people's lives.
Personally, I've faced the loss of a dear friend, experienced job highs and lows, dealt with business and financial insecurity, and navigated the ebb and flow of being a Mum with its myriad of emotions. Not to mention recognising that our world currently feels rocky and insecure.
During the session, it became evident that 2023 held a mix of emotions for many of us, and we've all had to summon inner courage to power through.
So today, I’m sharing one of the creative drawing exercises I guided people through during the Reflect & Review session.
🖍️ Why draw?
Drawing engages our visual and tactile senses, allowing us to capture emotions and experiences more vividly, which goes beyond words and invites personal interpretation. It's about seeing and feeling your experiences.
🎼 Set the Mood:
First up, let's set the atmosphere for this creative exercise.
Hit play on the Reflect & Review Playlist:
1. 📅 Recall the Moments:
First, take a few minutes to wander back through the corridors of your memory from January 2023 onwards.
If it helps, use your calendar or scroll through the photo reel on your phone to help those stand moments flood back.
3. 📝 Jot Down the Standout Moments
As a warm-up, spend a few minutes jotting down your standout moments as brief notes in your notebook or writing app.
4. 🎨 Launch into Creativity - Let’s Draw
Draw a long line on a blank piece of paper—this is your timeline for the year.
In the middle, mark the approximate six-month point. From here, lay down your significant events as doodles, accompanied by a word or two if you fancy at the rough points that they happened during the year.
In the spirit of sharing, here's my 2023 timeline from the Reflect & Review event - perhaps not my greatest artistic achievement, but one of the most cathartic.
5. 🎨 Unleash Your Inner Artist:
Let the strokes of your pen or pencil dance freely on the canvas of your year, set a timer and spend at least 10 minutes immersing yourself in this artistic voyage through 2023.
Forget perfection; let it flow, let it go.
Remember, it's not about being a Picasso; it's about capturing the essence of your experiences.
🪞Go Further - How to Write A Reflection Poem
As serendipity works her magic again, this week, a member of the FLOWN community James A Pearson, shared this beautiful poetry exercise. He says:
There are lots of “year in review” templates that tally up your wins and losses. And those can be really helpful!
But I wanted something to capture the tides moving beneath all the ups and downs.
That’s what poems are for.
Even if you’ve never written a single poem, this guide walks you through a simple, 4-step process to…
🪞 Reflect on the most meaningful parts of your year
🙌 Connect with who you’ve become in the process
📜 And create a finished poem to capture it all.
Check the free 2023 Reflection Poem Guide, a downloadable worksheet from James. It’s a gorgeous exercise.
As you reflect on the last year, some challenging experiences may arise. I encourage you to be open to that and the feelings that may present themselves. There’s certain acceptance and insight with staying with those feelings. And don’t forget to celebrate those wins and accomplishments, too!
Stay creative and with love.