It is the most wonderful time of the year indeed and for many reasons. The holiday season is not just for spending time with our loved ones, eating to our heart's content, singing melodious Christmas Carols and relishing in our days out of the office. For some, the end of the year is also a time of reflection, a critique of the current year while planning for the upcoming New Year.
At least once or twice a year, I make it a point to pause, reflect and go. I believe that in order to step into our best selves we have to evaluate our past actions and behaviors. For me personally, this year came along with many life-changing lessons and struggles. Nothing seemed to go as planned especially at the beginning of 2017. From my quest to find a place to live, business deals falling through, all while dealing with the pressures of being an entrepreneur. One specific challenge I faced was restructuring both KUSI Consulting and rebranding threesixtyGh, now siro360 and assembling an effective team for both platforms, which seem to come full circle at the end of the year, with the help of my business partner.
I found myself at a very obscure place for most of 2017 but managed to find the strength to put my game face on and keep pushing. It was all very confusing at first but I later learned to appreciate every single lesson and challenge and what it taught me. I learned to accept the things I could not change and grow from the pain. I also learned to let go a little and trust, perhaps the most difficult lesson of the year. Through it all, I found inner peace and strength I never knew I possessed.
I cannot speak for everyone and their methods but when I reflect, it usually comes with a lot of alone and quiet time, which involves prayer, reading, writing, fitness and a getaway to regroup and reenergize. This is all very necessary and helpful because around this time of year, I am in deep thought wondering what I could have done better, as well as evaluating my circle of friends, influencers, and supporters. I also make it a point to appreciating all that I accomplished and devise ways to build on those achievements.
Here are seven activities I recommend during moments of reflecting:
Fitness- Fitness has become a lifestyle for me and this year I pushed myself far beyond my limit. Working out is a great way to stay in shape but it is also a great way to strengthen your inner core and your mind. If you are not keen on going to the gym then work out at home or go for a jog, run or swim. This is one of the best forms of stress relief. I highly recommend it after a long day or before getting your day started.
Reading and writing- There is a lot of peace that comes with reading or writing. In the evenings, I love to cuddle in bed with a cup of tea and read or write. Make it a point to spend at least 30 minutes reading or writing per day.
Limited time online- Occasionally, I disconnect from the distractions of the online world, mainly social media. Sure, it is a useful tool for work but at times we get so caught up that we lose sight of why we opened an account in the first place. Do this every now and then and notice how much more productive you will be.
Spend time in a serene and green place – The best way to feel rejuvenated is to spend time away and free your mind of all its troubles. Go for a hike, paddle boat on the lake, sit under a tree and feel the cool breeze on your face. Surprisingly, you do not have to go far to experience nature and all it has to offer.
Volunteer- December is a time of giving. Do something that feels good and brings joy to others. This, in turn, will also bring joy to you.
Domestic chores- Cooking and cleaning can be therapeutic although it might come off as a chore to some. For me, it is an absolute chore and so I listen to music, which helps.
Soul cleansing- This is something I recently started. This year I realized the importance of cleaning house (figuratively) and protecting my energy. This usually involves evaluating your circle and the people you keep around. Doing this comes with a lot of questions and doubt but in the end, go with your instinct. It knows the way.
The key, when reflecting, is to spend time alone in calm and serene places that bring you peace of mind; a place where you can think and shed off your old skin as you step into the new. You will be surprised the things one can learn about themselves and their surroundings by taking time to reflect. In those moments of solitude so much is revealed and ideas are generated.
I hope this helps you in your quest to find inner peace and growth. Cheers to 2018, our year of breakthrough and protected energy.
Rita Kusi is the CEO of KUSI Consulting, an HR and Marketing company and Head of Operations at siro360, a media company.