Looking back on 2018 - how and why I’m reviewing my year

Happy Winter Solstice!

2018 has been an incredible year of growth and personal development.  But sometimes we get so caught up in the next goal, the next big job, that next milestone, that we can feel like we’re not really progressing.  Sometimes it’s only when you stop and look back that you realise just how far you’ve actually come.

In order to round off the year and before I start mapping out my main goals for next year, one of my favourite things to do is to review the year just gone and, most importantly, celebrate a few of my biggest achievements along the way!

“But, why?” I hear you ask.

This exercise helps to put the year in perspective.

It’s an opportunity to celebrate your successes.  All of them.  Even the tiny ones.  It’s so important to acknowledge when things have gone well for you; from writing a really thoughtful Instagram caption that engaged your audience, to securing that top level dream client and everything in between.  There’ll be plenty of successes you’ll have forgotten in the whirlwind of being a solopreneur, now is your opportunity to doff your imaginary cap to yourself.  Recognising your success uplifts you, boosts confidence and builds self-esteem, so you’ll see 2019 coming up ahead and say, “BRING IT.

As well as the highlights, there’ll be lowlights too, there are for everyone, it’s completely normal.  But instead of tying yourself in knots over them, now is the perfect time to reframe any less than fabulous experience.  Instead of focusing on what went wrong, or all the negatives, look instead for the positives, no matter how small; the learning, the growth, how those experiences might have made you think a little bit differently.

It’s a chance to reset.  Let go of any resentment, any stress, any negative energy or emotion and wipe the slate completely clean.  2019 is a brand new page.  Be thankful for what has been, and get excited for what’s to come!

All of this enables you to move forwards and plan ahead more

This year I’m also taking inspiration from Melissa Kuan and her reflection questionnaire.  It’s full of 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 2018 (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…

Clarity. Clarity. Clarity.

It’s where it’s at.  Taking this time to reflect and learn more about yourself and your business is such a great way to clear out anything that’s weighing you down and to get crystal clear on what to take forwards with you into the new year and how you can build upon your learning.

And as Melissa says, you don’t have to wait until the end of the year to practise this, there’s always room for self-reflection.  Some of the most successful people in the world practise these kinds of reflections on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis!

“Looking back, over my shoulder…” – Mike and the Mechanics

So, I wanted to share with you some of the things I’m most proud of achieving this year:

Expanding my personal branding photography – doing so much more of the work that I truly adore, that makes me come alive and makes my heart sing with absolute joy.  I just love supporting my clients as they conquer their fears and up-level their visual game with jaw-droppingly beautiful new photos!

Being published in a wealth management company’s quarterly review magazine!  I photographed a violin maker and restorer’s workshop and it was quite possibly the most relaxing photographic experience of my life.  (I was tempted to move in, not going to lie!)  Those photos have ended up accompanying an article all about investing in top level stringed instruments.  Proud. Of. Myself.

Refining my values, learning from my mistakes, respecting myself, believing in my own ability and worth, not being afraid to say no, and getting super clear on the work I want to attract more of.

Securing the post of part-time lecturer!  Yes, it’s really happening.  As of January I’ll be lecturing part-time to photography students on the subject of ‘personal branding’ and the importance of building a brand for yourself.  I never thought my first public speaking gig would bring me here.  Excited and nervous, but in the words of Erada, “If it’s both terrifying and amazing then you should definitely pursue it.”

This winter solstice is a day for tying up those loose ends before switching on my out of office for the Christmas break.  This afternoon you’ll find me, giant cup of tea in hand, reviewing and reflecting on 2018 and getting super excited for what 2019 has in store.

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous new year.

Love, Karina. x

PS. I’d love to hear some of the things you’re most proud of achieving, or how your own review has gone this year.  Let me know on social media and I’ll champion you right back!

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