Make 2023 Your Best Year Yet With This Ritual
Reflect on 2022 to set yourself up for success in 2023
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Many of you are making New Years’ resolutions, so I want to share a great ritual that helped me reflect on the past year and make plans for this year.
This ritual was created by Katia Verresen who coaches leaders like Deb Liu (CEO Ancestry), Ami Vora (CPO Faire), and others.
Best of all, it takes less than an hour to complete.
Here’s how it works (all credit goes to Katia, I simply want to share the process):
Map your past year
Reflect on your experiences
Decide what to take to the new year
Write a letter to yourself
1. Map your past year
Start by writing down your most memorable experiences from the past year.
Draw a 3x4 grid on a sheet of paper and label each month. Look at your past year’s calendar, photos, and other logs to jog your memory. Write down your most memorable experiences (both good and bad) in these categories:
Here’s a snapshot of my experiences:
January: Went super viral with a tweet seen by 18M people (Creations)
April: Took a family trip to NYC where everyone got COVID (Places)
October: Bonded with my engineering manager about our successes, failures, and learnings from building a 0-1 product (People)
2. Reflect on your experiences
Take 10 minutes to really reflect on your experiences from the past year.
Many of us are so focused on what’s next that we don’t process what already happened. Take a bird’s eye view of 2022 and make time to celebrate your wins, learn from your mistakes, and reflect on what gives you energy.
Here’s a snapshot of my reflections:
People love my sense of humor. Both at work and on social, people like my ability to make light of “serious” topics like product management.
I really miss travel. My daughter loved her time in NYC even though we all ended up with COVID.
Being patient is an area of improvement. I need to be a better listener both at home and at work. Being sleep deprived from raising a baby isn’t an excuse.
3. Choose what to take to the new year
Here’s the empowering step - you get to choose what you bring to the new year.
Draw 5-10 circles on a new sheet of paper, and write in each circle a trait or experience that you want to bring to 2023. Leave the bad behaviors from 2022 behind.
Here’s a snapshot of what I want to bring to the new year:
Humor. I want to continue to make my family, friends, and coworkers laugh.
More trips. I want to have more trips with my kids and their grandparents.
Listen more. I want to make a conscious effort to improve my listening skills and detach from my emotions.
4. Write a letter to yourself
Imagine that it’s December 31, 2023 and you just had your best year ever.
Write a letter to yourself expressing your gratitude for everything that happened. Use your circles from step 3 as inspiration.
Here’s a snapshot of my letter:
This year, you made an effort to improve your patience and it paid off. Your coworkers and family noticed and praised your efforts to truly listen, and laughed regularly at your memes and dad jokes. You also took three trips with the family, including a memorable journey to Japan that the grandparents particularly enjoyed.
Give the above ritual a try and let me know in the comments if you discover anything new about yourself.
You can also check out Katia’s page (password: happy2023) where she personally walks you through the steps above.
Thanks for this Peter. I used elements from both your approach, and Katia’s more thorough explanation. I learned that 2022 really sucked for me, although I wasn’t admitting it at the time! I’ll be taking my Zen philosophy to 2023 and beyond. Onwards and upwards! If you’re interested I wrote about my findings on my most recent blog on CamZhu.com.
Sounds fairly simple! Was overwhelmed with a few of these and already thought about doing any. Then this simple one came along. Will give it a try tomorrow :)! Thx