KARINA LYBURN | Personal Branding Photographer

2020 - how to review and reflect on this year, ready for 2021!

And so we prepare to say “so long and farewell” to 2020…

As this year draws to a close, and we wind down towards a well-earned rest over the Christmas period, I’m making time for my annual review - a chance to reflect on the year just gone, to gain clarity on my greatest achievements, biggest learnings, my ‘things-I-meant-to-do-but-never-got-round-to’, and so much more. I find this check-in a really useful way of marking the year, of taking stock and not letting one year (and its habits!) run into the next so that I can start mapping out 2021 with a clear vision for how to make this next year my best ever.

2020 is a year that I’m sure many of us will not be sorry to see the back of for a variety of reasons. I sincerely hope that you and your nearest and dearest have managed, and are continuing, to keep safe and well. For me, it’s been a year of contrasts; it’s been the most challenging and simultaneously the most rewarding year yet. It’s a year in which, despite everything, my business has grown, I’ve loved my shoots, I’ve launched a new offering, developed my teaching, and connected with some of my photographic heroes. But it’s also the year that I lost my precious little lioness, my soul-dog.

I, like so many of you, have learned more about myself than I bargained for this year.

Taking time to reflect on the year just passed, helps to put everything into perspective, to re-evaluate what’s most important, our aims, passions and priorities, and allows us to move forwards and plan ahead more consciously.

This is an opportunity to celebrate your successes. All of them. Even the tiny ones. In fact, especially the tiny ones (some of your biggest life changes come from what appear on the surface to be the most insignificant decisions. Don’t believe me? Just ask Meg Ryan in ‘Sleepless in Seattle’). It’s so important to acknowledge the things that have gone well for you. Celebrating your triumphs (I know people who literally create ‘win lists’) not only uplifts you, but also reminds you of your ability, courage, strength and determination, and we all need some of that from time to time.

It’s equally important to recognise those things that maybe haven’t gone so well. This isn’t about beating yourself up, it’s about acknowledging those experiences and then reframing them into something you can take forward. Look for the positives - the unexpected good that came from it, the learning, the growth, your resilience. It takes guts to make space for these things, look them straight in the face and say, “I see you, I accept you, I appreciate you, and now I’m choosing to learn from you and move forward.”

I’ve mentioned before that I love using Melissa Kuan’s reflection questionnaire at this time of year, with questions like…

  • Things I did that I said I was going to do…
  • Things I DIDN’T do that I said I was going to do…
  • The 3 most defining moments of this year (and what did they teach me)?
  • What brought me joy?
  • What new things did I try and what was the outcome?
  • What do I know about myself today that I didn’t know a year ago?
  • I spent too much time on…
  • I didn’t spend enough time on…
  • I’m most proud of…
  • Next year I want to experience more…

Give yourself time, space and grace to answer these questions honestly and you might surprise yourself with your answers. Take this opportunity to be curious, clear out anything that’s weighing you down and find new clarity on what to take with you into 2021.

A brand new year. We have so many things to be thankful for. Let’s make the best of it. Here’s to believing in better, dreaming bigger, living louder and to your best year yet.

Wishing you and your loved ones, a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, and hopeful New Year.

Big love always, Karina. x

PS. I’d love to hear some of your successes and the things you’re most proud of, or how your own review has gone this year. Whizz me a message on Instagram so I can champion you right back!



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