Winter Seasonal Review

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quote - brian tracyIt’s that time of the year again. Well, a little late, but who’s counting? This past Labor Day weekend was my very first official seasonal review, and I decided that my next review would be on or around the Friday after Thanksgiving.

As I have mentioned before, the seasonal review is born out of a failed attempt at a weekly review, which was one of my New Year’s resolutions last year. In a nutshell, the idea of the weekly review was to wrap up loose ends from the previous week and spend time planning out the upcoming week. This was honestly just too much for me to commit to week after week. Instead, I have been working on developing habits to review things as I go daily, with a more reflective review about every three months.

Components of the Seasonal Review

My vision for the seasonal review was to revisit the idea of New Year’s resolutions more frequently than once a year. The seasonal review is a time to reevaluate goals. It is a chance to reset and get back on track more than just once a year after the overindulgence of the holidays.

I need look no farther than my hipster to see what I need to be doing. In fact, as I was looking back on my fall seasonal review post, I noticed that my ideas for what the seasonal review should consist of are entirely covered by my existing hipster categories. Here’s a few highlights from my second ever seasonal review:

D&AMy dreams notebook contains my goals (I just decided to call them dreams). I have been reviewing this list almost daily over the past several months, so I am well aware of what I have accomplished and what I still need to work on. After reflecting on my current goals, I noticed that many of them are pretty general and don’t really have concrete, measurable results.

I converted the titles of the notes in this notebook from “Fall – ” to “Winter – “, to reflect the current time period. I kept a few as they were, and updated a few that I felt could use more focus. For example:

I changed one of my “Fall – Inner Peace” dreams from “I intend to enjoy organizing projects.” to “Winter – Inner Peace: I intend to complete my garage & kitchen organization projects”.

I have previously mentioned that I was trying to decide whether or not I should maintain an archive of my old goals that I have accomplished or just delete and update as I go. As much as I think the archive could be nice to go back and reminisce on every once in a while, I have decided (at least for now) to just go ahead and let myself only have one fresh, active list of dreams to deal with.

Since I consider each of my affirmations as corresponding with one of the items on my dreams list, I was able to quickly update this list to reflect the changes I had made to my dreams list. I probably spent a few hours on this portion of the seasonal review.

R&RI knew that I had let my personal¬† rituals and reminders lists get a little out of hand over the past several months. Not to totally overwhelming meltdown status, but to a level that could use some revamping. So I decided to take some time after Thanksgiving to weed through my rituals list and see what was working and what wasn’t.

I ended up deleting and combining some items. This brought my total rituals items to review each day down from 120 to 92. I will probably continue to whittle this list down to simplify it even more in the future.

My rituals list currently contains about 15 seasonal items. I started focusing on my seasonal tasks during the week before Thanksgiving because I knew I would be traveling the entire next week. Many of these tasks don’t take much time, but should be done on a regular basis. This list helps me track the last time I did a recurring task and figure out when it is due again.

I didn’t have every one of my seasonal rituals completed by the Friday after Thanksgiving. I actually still have a few I have been dragging my feet on (like change the A/C filter…I guess that one just bores me to death!), but in general I am proud of myself for even having a record of the last time each item was completed to work from.

I am also happy to say that I scaled my personal reminders list that had accumulated to 20 items down to 13 through some focus brought on by the seasonal review. I am still working to get to the bottom of this one, hopefully soon!

Some Things That Worked, and Some That Didn’t

During my fall seasonal review, I intended to develop the habit of reviewing my affirmations and dreams every morning first thing, before I do yoga and meditate. I will admit that I have not been 100% faithful to this plan, and after observing myself over the past three months I am not sure that it was the best plan for me (at least in my current daily schedule).

I love Julie Morgenstern’s advice about organization and time management. She introduced me to the concept of working with your natural energy cycles and tendencies rather than against them. If you find that you have dirty clothes all over the place, for example, perhaps the hamper is just not in a very user-friendly place.

I noticed that I usually got around to reviewing my affirmations and dreams lists either at some point later in the day or at the very least every few days. I am starting to rethink the best time for me to review these lists. I am going to just observe my natural tendencies a la Julie Morgenstern to see if I can identify a pattern to reveal the best times of day for reviewing my lists.

Beyond deciding when to review my dreams and affirmations, the seasonal review is a time to reevaluate each one individually. I know that I have a long ways to go, but I also can see that I have accomplished some things and it is good to stop and take the time to appreciate the progress that has been made.

I believe I have gotten slightly better at getting up at 5 a.m. on the weekdays, or at least getting up so I have enough time to do yoga. This is pretty much all there is time for though during the first hour of the day that flies by before I have to start working. I have, for the most part, finally accepted this.

Final Thoughts

More than anything, having dreams and affirmations makes life so much more exciting. There is a ton of hope that goes into a dream, and I have come to realize that living in hope is far more exhilarating than living in despair that things are not the way I want them to be already. Having goals to work towards is not only fun, but it makes anything less seem totally unnecessary.

I look around at all there is to do in the world and all I can think is that we don’t have time to be negative or upset. There is too much that needs to be fixed! Why waste a moment complaining or sulking when there is something to be done?

I am by no means perfect, and I can still get myself worried and down about things. But it doesn’t last long because now I have lists that contain things I actually want to do guiding my days.

I will always believe that I can get where I want, and won’t let anyone tell me otherwise. They know the future no more than me, so why not dream?

Have you wanted to get started on a dream but have no clue where to start? Go ahead and write an affirmation and share your thoughts. Don’t be scared! We could all use a bit more inspiration and hope. Namaste!

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