For me, the week between Christmas and New Year's Day means it's inventory time—the annual mind-numbingly boring task of counting and recording every little piece of my supplies (along with looking up the purchase price per item) for tax purposes. As my business grows, this exercise becomes more time intensive every year. (It's a good thing I like spreadsheets!)
The sheer boredom of this task, however, also makes it a very good time to engage in a wider inventory of my life. It's a chance to review the past year and set goals for the year ahead for both my personal life and my business.
This exercise of review and goal-setting is one I've engaged in with great enjoyment for many years, but as I've leaned ever more deeply into living a kintsugi life, my focus has shifted in ways that have made it an even more fruitful time for me.
In the past, my review of the past year consisted of focusing on everything that had gone wrong, didn't work, or that I just didn't like about my life so I could set goals attempting to "fix" these parts of my life in the coming year. Truth be told, it was a kind of depressing exercise. (Not to mention the fact that the same goals kept showing up year after year after year.)
With each passing year of kintsugi living, I spend less time focusing on what's "wrong" with my life, and more time focusing on how I've healed and grown in the last year.
I don't ignore those places where more healing is needed or where there are broken places that need tending, but those are no longer my primary focus. I am much more interested in making sure I've identified and embraced the gifts of kintsugi gold that have formed in the places that have healed.
Things like healing and personal growth are very hard to see in the moment as they are happening because they are slow, gradual, and often non-linear processes. When I measure my progress day by day, it often feels like nothing is happening.
It takes the longer view of a year (or several years) to be able to see how much I've healed and grown and to fully identify the lessons, skills, and character traits that have been developed and refined along the way. Taking the time to intentionally identify and embrace these each year has helped ensure that I don't lose sight of them.
It's also radically changed the kinds of goals I set.
While some of my goals for the coming year do still focus on addressing pain points or making improvements to things that aren't working well, my goals each year become more focused on intentional "polishing" and making better use of the kintsugi gold I already have.
Now I ask things like:
How have I healed and grown in the last year?
What gifts of kintsugi gold have I gained in the last year through this healing?
How do I use what I've gained from my own healing to better my life and the lives of those around me?
What broken places in me need more love and compassionate tending to heal further?
How can the healing I've already experienced help me heal even more?
These questions produce a radically different set of goals than the ones I might have set in the past while also helping make sure I don't miss out on any of the healing or kintsugi gold that's formed in the last year.
My goals now come from a place a self-love and focus on healing and positive growth rather than on beating myself up for perceived flaws and failures. It's a much better stance from which to leap into the new year!
As you prepare to make the leap into 2018, I invite you to spend some time sitting with the questions above for your own life and to set any goals you may set for the coming year in light of the answers. You may be surprised by how much treasure you find and by how loving and life-affirming the resulting goals wind up being.
I wish you the discovery of much to treasure in the year that is closing and much love, joy, peace, and healing in the year to come! Happy New Year!
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