Further Your Lifestyle

EP. 144 - Reflect, Reset, and Renew - End of Year Pros and Cons Review | Further Your Lifestyle Podcast

December 17, 2023 Your Host: Chris Furlong Episode 144
Further Your Lifestyle
EP. 144 - Reflect, Reset, and Renew - End of Year Pros and Cons Review | Further Your Lifestyle Podcast
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Watch it here: https://youtu.be/FP-C2oqo0f4

Ready to catapult into a new year with purpose, clarity, and a sense of accomplishment? We're here to guide you through a detailed reflection of your past year, and arm you with the tools to set the stage for a successful year ahead. In this episode, we delve into all the nooks and crannies of your life, from personal development and career, to relationships and hobbies. The goal here isn't to judge, but to gain insights and learn from our past actions to shape our future intentions. Remember, this is about balancing expectations, letting go of things that didn't work out, and above all, being kind to ourselves.

As we bask in the spirit of the holiday season, we emphasize the importance of self-care and quality time with your loved ones. It's time to press pause on your hectic life, grab a notepad, and prepare to make some positive lifestyle changes. We challenge you to share this episode with others and invite them to join you on this reflection journey. When it comes to navigating life's ups and downs, remember, you're not alone – we're here to support you every step of the way. So come, let's bid farewell to the old and welcome the new with renewed energy and optimism.

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Speaker 1:

Yo yo yo. Welcome back to the Furthier Lifestyle podcast Conversations on Lifestyle Passions and Hustles. My name's Chris, I am your host and I'm super excited to be back here having the conversation with you. Episode 144 today and we're actually wrapping up the year. This is the last episode for 2023, which just blows my mind that we're here already and I'll be talking a bit about I'll take a couple of weeks off and all that jazz. I'll talk about that at the end of the episode, but today, really, what I wanted to focus on is basically giving yourself a set of, I guess, steps or guidelines in reflecting on the year. Right, it's been a big year. Hopefully. For you, it's been an amazing year. You've done everything that you've wanted to do, but there is the reality that maybe we haven't achieved everything that we've wanted, and the aim of this episode is really to go through, I guess, a year in balance and basically doing a pros and cons review of your year. Now I'm not gonna be going through in detail, I'm basically just gonna give you a set of instructions and take you through a guide that you can go away, whether you wanna do it right now or you can go do it listen to it a bit later and take yourself through this pros and cons review process of the year of 2023, or maybe you'll listen to this and it's another year, so that's completely up to you. But that's the purpose of this episode and really help you look at things from a different perspective, and I know for me personally. I'm a big goal setter and I can get quite frustrated or a little bit down when I don't see the results at the end of the year, but there's a lot of the reasons why we don't hit our goals is because I have external factors or we just didn't do the work. It's that simple. And at the end of this episode, what I also wanna take you through a set of things that you can do. We'll start thinking about now or over the next couple of weeks, as you move into the new year. What can you be doing in the new year to actually make it your best year yet? So I'm gonna give you a bunch of those. We're gonna dive straight into this episode now. So buckle up and roll the intro, all right? So, as I said, we're gonna be doing a pros and cons list. If you've never done a pros and cons list, it's quite simple really. I mean, you're gonna go through, basically, and list out all the pros of the year and all the cons of the year, and this will vary depending on who you are, what you've done, what you're doing, where you live and things like that. But an example of some pros I'm gonna put this up on screen. I mean, maybe you successfully learned a new language or you build a stronger relationship with families and friends, you've achieved a professional certification, maybe you've improved some physical health or you've volunteered monthly at a local charity. Some of the cons, however, might be you didn't meet a goal of saving a certain amount. Maybe you've experienced a bit of stress over too much work, maybe you had planned to read more books and you only finish a few things like that and you can see a couple more there up on the screen. So look, that's as simple as they need to be, and I'm gonna walk you through a bit of a process of that we can do, but the first thing we actually need to do is get ourselves in the position where we can actually start to, I guess, get our mindset right around. What are the things we wanna really focus on Now? You might wanna narrow down on a certain niche and a certain area of your life. But if you wanna do it holistically, there's a whole bunch of things you can start to consider when it comes down to a pros and cons list. You can start to think about personal development, professional in career, your health and fitness, your relationships and social life, your financial status, your education and learning, your recreation and leisure activities, all your contribution and community. So there are probably some key areas that you can use to actually create these pros and cons lists. And one thing that you do wanna do is, when you go through this and we're gonna do it in a minute is, for each selected category, you're gonna wanna take a moment to reflect on the past year. You're gonna wanna, if it was personal development, think about what were the events, what were some of the changes that occurred, what were some of the milestones, what was the overall journey within this area? And, where possible, I would also encourage you to try and make these points specific and measurable in the sense of like, rather than just saying I improved my work, you're saying like I'll increase things by 10%, or I was able to grow revenue by 10%, or I was able to run 10 more runs, or I was able to do X more of this. It just helps you then put something tangible to it or measurable to it, and you don't have to have the same amount of pros and cons. However, the balance does help make it a bit more easy to digest. But you really wanna aim for a list that honestly reflects your year, your experiences, your learning and your growth and your areas of life, so that's why it's unique to you. So at the end of that, once you've done the pros and cons list which we'll go through shortly, so after you've done the pros, before you move on to the cons, just take a moment, reflect on it, go to the cons, then do that, then take a moment, step back, reflect on the cons and then maybe look at both of them and see if there's anything else. All right, so we're gonna start with pros now. If you wanna do this right now, you can pause the podcast and go through it, but what you wanna do is, under each category, write down the positive aspects of the year. You're gonna be listing achievements, you're gonna be listing out progress made, enjoyable experiences, unexpected joys, and then you're also gonna include small victories and simple pleasures that made a difference for your life. So you're gonna do this right now. You can pause the episode, otherwise I'm gonna jump straight into the cons as well. So go do the pros Right now. We're going to do the cons. You've reflected on the pros. If you haven't reflected on the pros, go back and reflect on the pros Now. We're going to move on the cons. Now, under the same categories, you want to consider less favorable aspects, things that maybe didn't go as planned, maybe some disappointments, some setbacks, areas where expectations maybe weren't met, and you need to be honest about this. But don't be overly critical, don't be hard on yourself, be realistic, be honest, and the cons are just as much as part of your growth journey, as much as the pros. So it's important that you do this. So you're going to do this right now. If you need to pause it, pause it, and we'll go then into the reflecting part of this piece, all right. So hopefully you've now reflected, reviewed your pros, your cons, you've gone through it, you've got them all jotted down. Now what we want to do is actually dive into a bit of a process of reflecting on the positives, and then we'll actually be acknowledging the negatives. So reflecting on the positives is essentially acknowledging the pros. So you can look at this, and the way I would like to think about doing this is looking at it from a perspective of four or five different lenses or contexts. So the first one is major wins. Maybe have a look through and see what were some of the significant achievements and happy milestones from the year, what were the major wins and have this conversation with yourself and really just memorise like not memorise and cherish those memories and revisit a trip down memory lane. What were some of the small victories? Also, to consider what were the small wins, which are often overlooked. Now, while we're doing this, if you're finding that you've missed stuff in the pros or you've missed stuff in the cons, by all means chuck them in there. But that's the whole point of reflecting, because you're going to go through this and now I'm challenging you even further on reflecting on these that maybe you've actually missed something. Were there other major wins? Were there other small victories? What about surprising benefits? Were there things here which you know? Maybe there was unexpected benefits from things that you did and there was some positive outcomes that came through that maybe we originally thought were going to be negative experiences. So maybe you need to chuck some of those in too. The other thing to reflect on is what about growth and learning? Right, what were some of the challenges that have led to you to grow? These are all wins as well. Now, if you haven't included all these, if you haven't reflected on all these, then maybe you can add them in, because it's not about having the biggest list possible. It's about being able to acknowledge and understand that. Oh, actually, I didn't even think of that, right, because there's a lot of things you've done this year and I don't want you to get so stuck on. I haven't done this or that's not good enough. But major wins, small victories, surprising benefits and growth and learning they're all key elements to some of the other things that we've already spoken about. You know, enjoyable experiences, unexpected joys, progress made, achievements Don't leave things on the table if you think they're relevant to adding to the pros, and that's why we reflect on it. The next part of this is actually now acknowledging the negatives, and it's going to be a similar thing If you find. As we go through this, I'm going to ask you a couple of questions. If there's a few more things that we need to add on to the cons list, then do it right. It's not to make a big bad list. It's really to help you say, okay, this is probably where I needed to do better and how am I going to make this better for the next year. So the first one is obstacles and losses. You know, have there been difficulties and setbacks that you've experienced through the year and you need to address them right, like, think about it right now. What were some of the difficulties and setbacks that you've experienced and some of the obstacles? Or maybe you've lost things. You know it might have been loved ones, it might have been furry friends, it might have been time I don't know right but reflect on these. The other ones are missed opportunities. Consider what opportunities we've missed and why this one. This one can draw out a lot of regret or annoyance. Don't live with regret. Understand okay, it was a missed opportunity. Why did you miss out on it? What were some of the things you could have done better and how do we now make sure that, if something like this happens again, that we don't make the same mistake? What about unmet goals? This one, I think you've probably already got the cons, but you've called them out. But I Think you you need to make sure you discuss with yourself the goals that were not Achieved and explore the reasons why, like, why weren't these goals met? And you don't have to put these in the cons. But right now, look at the goals that you didn't need. What were the reasons why you didn't meet them? And actually think about it. Like is it because I was just lazy, which is probably Might be the answer, but what were some of? The other is what was the reason that you felt comfortable to be lazy enough to not go do the goal? Right, you maybe you didn't like the goal, maybe you weren't even interested in doing it. Maybe you're doing it for the wrong reasons. This is why it's important to reflect what about lessons learned? Like, turn the focus on how these cons have provided valuable lessons or insights. So, even though there might be a lot of cons, these are lessons and loans which can turn into positives. You don't go put these in a positive section of your pros or anything like that. There's still cons, but there there's there's gonna be some silver linings from these. So maybe this has prompted a few more things that you need to look at, but the whole purpose of this is really to help you think about it, to acknowledge them and understand. Oh, maybe it's like, even though they might be cons, they're things that are going to make you a better person. So now we can go through and actually analyze the list and we've kind of already started doing this, and this is Basically reviewing what you've seen and what, what you now have a better understanding of, because we've just kind of acknowledged things, we've reflected on the positives. Now we want to look at it from a perspective right, and what I would really encourage you, if you haven't done it already is, as you look for the cons right now again, look at the silver linings, like and we did we, we saw the lessons learned. We've spoken about some of the missed opportunities, some of the obstacles and losses, but in these there's moments that can teach us new valuable insights to going forward. We don't make the same mistake. Or now you've, yeah, you've made the mistake, but because of that small cost, because of that small cost now, now, you will never have to spend that wasted time again or that money again and you will avoid making that issue again, all that mistake. So there's a lot of, there's a lot of opportunity to learn from these cons, and it's on a similar Perspective for the pros. How can the pros now can be enhanced if things were working, if things that really well, how do you leverage that to elevate it? How do you leverage that to compound it? How do you leverage that to snowball it into a new year If you enjoy doing it? How do you now take it to the next level? It's not about doubling it or things like that, but like okay, I've got momentum, let's step it up a notch. So by going through this and reviewing these different elements or things that we've achieved or things that we haven't achieved, it can help us give a better perspective shift. And again, clons aren't necessarily meant to be all about our use cycle. You didn't do it or you're not good enough. No, no, no, it's just, things didn't happen the way we expected. There's reasons why we need to understand that. There's reasons why we need to understand why and give yourself that balanced perspective. But also there's silver linings and some of these, because we didn't do that. We've done that, which led into a pro, but we didn't follow our original plan and that's okay. You just need to understand why. If you understand why, you can then understand that, okay, this is okay. But if you understand why and you realize that's bad because you were just lazy, then you have your answer. And again the silver lining is now how do we fix it? As you look for all this, can you see anything that is consistently recurring? All right, are there any patterns or anything that looks to be a theme or something where maybe in the cons, maybe you can say I didn't do that, I didn't do that, I didn't do that because I just didn't enjoy it. I couldn't be bothered. If that's becoming a very common thread, maybe there's some things that need to change in your life that's going to enable you to do those things, or maybe they're things you really don't actually want to do and you're just putting him down for the sake of putting him down like his goals. So by going through this patterns and trends analysis, you can start to then have a better understanding of maybe you need to make some different future decisions of how you're going to tread into the new year, which leads me to part five, which is Going through a bit of a reflection. After going through the reflection, how do we now take action? And there's the three points here. The first one is creating balance. So you've gone through this analysis, you've got a better understanding of perspective. You've got a better understanding of patterns and trends. So how do we now create a more balanced approach into the new year? Right now, I'm not going to answer this for you. You need to take this and think about okay, well, what were the things that were working? You want to do more of that next year. What were the things that weren't working? Why weren't they working? What were the patterns and causing it? What was the root cause of that? So now, how do I just decide Okay, I'm not going to do that anymore. Right, sometimes we we see other people do things, we hear about other things and we put things down spontaneously, like a spontaneous purchase or you know, just off the cuff. And Sometimes that's really bad because we buy things in the hype and then we don't end up using it. It's the same thing with goals Like oh, this year I want to do that, and you get excited and then you don't do it and then you feel depressed about it because you didn't do it when really you never really wanted to do it in the first place. If we know why we're doing things, it makes it a lot easier. So really use this to build out a balanced understanding and approach for the new year. Don't set things that you don't want to be doing, but if you find halfway through the year maybe there are more things you want to be doing, then you can make the adjustment. The next one is make actionable goals. Translate your learnings from the pros and cons lists this year into actionable goals for the new year. So does that mean, okay, I want to continue to run more, or I want to continue to grow my business, or I want to continue to reach out to friends weekly, or I want to continue to do XYZ. Or maybe it means I don't want to be doing this anymore, I don't want to have to experience that feeling anymore, or I don't want to be as lazy as I was. You know, based on your cons list from last year all these different things you can leverage that to now build something that's going to be more manageable, reasonable, sensible, actionable and it's more of a reality right, realistic. And then the third point is letting go. I think I struggle with this as well. When you have a cons list, when you don't hit goals. There's a goal this year I haven't hit. I haven't hit my 2000 kilometers of running and I knew that was going to happen. A lot earlier Now I could have made the decision to up my running, but I didn't want to. It didn't go to plan for the first half and I didn't want to do double down in the second half and I was okay with that, like I'm okay with that, like I've let go of it. Like halfway through it I'm like I'm not going to do it, not going to do it. And once I realized that it's like do I really want to do all this extra work just to be able to say I've done 2000 kilometers? No. So when you understand the drives and the reasonings behind why you have all these things, or what's the reason why they are on the cons list, it helps. You then take the next steps in either letting go or moving them into the next year. Maybe sometimes it just wasn't your idea. Maybe you said you wanted to sign a new deal with a new customer or client, but maybe that client has been away for a year and you know they've taken a holiday, so you haven't been able to do that. That's out of your control, right, but it doesn't mean you can't push things down. There's going to be really positive cons and there's going to be really negative cons as well. So just don't be so hard on yourself, but think about how do you move forward effectively based on now what you know, and is it time to be letting go of some things? So, in summary, I think it's really important that we do take the time Now. If you haven't done anything through this process, like as I've been speaking over this podcast for the last what 17 minutes or so, just think about it. Like, what are your pros and cons? You can do this really minimalistic. You don't have to follow in detail. If I was to say to you just, you know, write down the first 10 pros and write down the first 10 cons. What? What are you saying? Instantly, you're going to get a very, very quick, hard truth of the things that you liked and the things that you didn't, and maybe you can reflect on those right. And you've got to remember that both pros and cons, they're very important and they're absolutely crucial in helping you create a balanced lifestyle and also part of the journey of what's to come. And when we look at the proportion of what one year really is, one year isn't really a big part of your life. It's like 1.25% of your life. Now, I know, when we have a year and it wasn't our year, it can be quite frustrating. I mean, it's full of experiences, there's lessons, there's memories, but you've got to remember that it is only 1% of your life. That can also be very daunting as well. So I hope that challenges you because, look, one year does not define the rest of your life. There's people that do career changes every seven years. I started a new career after seven, eight years. That's okay, like it's not the end of the world. Who knows where I'll be in seven years? The reality is is when you reflect on these things, it gives you a fresh outlook, gives you a fresh perspective, it helps you become self-aware and it helps you understand what's working and what's not, but it also gives you the chance to step out of your current thinking and think about things a little differently. The big question, though, that I would always challenge you is like to be asking yourself well, why didn't it work and why is it working? And it usually comes down to because if you would like those things, you naturally have a tendency to do better at them, and if you don't like those things, you naturally have a tendency to push away from them. So that's how you can help then determine how do you want to make up your lifestyle. Look, the other thing you can do is I would encourage you, maybe sit down with some friends and family, trust ones. Hey, you can even let me know what some of your pros and cons are, but having a conversation about them could be a good thing as well. Or sharing them with other people, reflecting. I'm not saying that's what you need to do. It might just work for you, but end of the day, pros and cons, this is a great small way, simple way to do a bit of a year reflection Now. For me, this year has been a wild ride. This year I've seen a lot of changes and I'm not going to be talking about what I've done this year in this episode, but I'll be as we come into the new year. I will do a bit of a reflection of my own what worked, what didn't work, and have my own self-awareness. Now that will come in the new year of 2024. But my encouragement to you before we wrap up is one I want you to enjoy the holiday season. I will be taking a couple of weeks off. I will be back sometime early January and my encouragement to you is, in this down period is take some time to prep for the new year. Think about what you want to be doing, think about what we've just gone through today, think about where you want to be in the next year. And I've got a few high level points here that I want to share with you before we finish that you can use and take away and leverage and think about to help hopefully help next year be your best year yet. And the first one is set clear and achievable goals. Now, I've spoken about this so many times. All right, I'm not going to go into the details, but I'll keep it high level. Be specific, write them down and review regularly. And when I say be specific, it's like don't say I want to lose weight, say I want to exercise 30 minutes three times a week. That's the way to do it. Write them down and then review them on a regular basis. The next one is embrace time management techniques. A lot of the time, the reason why we don't get things done is because we don't prioritize our time. We don't give ourselves the time or the permission to use that time. So you need to prioritize your task, work out what is going to be high level I mean high priority and low priority. Also, think about maybe you can leverage some time blocking, setting up some calendar, setting up some routines but the key one is limiting multitasking. How can you stay focused? How can you put things in place to ensure that, when you are doing this, you're focused 100% on this and remove your distractions? The next one is develop healthy habits. And, of course, it's easy to say develop healthy habits, but the reality is consistency is always going to come out better than over intensity, and it's not about saying, okay, I'm going to do this 100 times today. No, if you can just do something one time every day for 365 days, that's 365 times. And if you've never done it before, you're now 365%. Better, right, you're 365 ahead, right. So start with smaller, consistent wins, right, things that you can do daily, that you tick them off, and as you build that momentum and that confidence, you'll be able to do more and more and more. Also, think about a holistic approach to building your healthy habits. Think about how do you incorporate habits that support physical, mental, emotional health, like things such as regular exercise or meditation or socializing. And then the other one is routine building. I like to have routines because it gives me something to fall back on. It gives me something to keep my life, my life, my life in flow. And when you incorporate the daily habits, these healthy habits, and you have a routine, it things just start to roll. It makes it a bit easier to do. The next one is reflect and adjust regularly. I would always recommend to a monthly check-in I always do that for my business, but it's always good to reflect back on what I've achieved this month. Be flexible with yourself. You might have to pivot, you might have to adjust as things don't go to plan as you progress into the year. So pivot your strategies, pivot your goals, that's okay. And the other one is celebrate your wins or your progress, super get Now. The last point is learn to say no If you want to make better progress this year, in the coming year. Set boundaries, have boundaries, know your limits, be willing to decline things. Set expectations around this. Do not get yourself burnt out. Set the boundaries right and we said it before, it's quality over quantity. You want to be focused on committing to fewer things that you can do really, really well, so you're not getting stretched thin. And then the final part is self care must be a priority. How can you love someone else if you can't love yourself first? So schedule time in for you to do things that you want to do. Give yourself that break. I'm talking to myself here, too. It's very, very important, all right. Well, that is the wrap up for 2023. And it's not you know, it's not about my year, your year, but it's an exercise that we can take. You can use this on a monthly basis. You can use this on a yearly basis to really go through and understand what are the pros, what are the cons, what's working, what's not, and to see if you can leverage that. Reflect on that and then now make next year your best year yet. As I said, I will be taking a couple of weeks off. Currently in the Philippines at the moment. I filmed this before going away and I'll be back early January, so there might be an episode, probably, hopefully, by mid month I haven't got the date for it yet, just you know, figuring all that out but we'll be back into the new year ready to rumble. Do it all again. I'm excited for the new year. I'm going to be spending a lot of time over this break and when I say over this break, I'm talking about right now, while I'm filming. Over the next six weeks, as we wrap up the year, I'm going to be spending a lot of time doing a lot of planning. But for you, over the next couple of weeks, as I take a break from this podcast, enjoy your time off, enjoy your Christmas, enjoy your new years, have a happy new year, take it easy, look after yourselves, spend it with your loved ones and, you know, really reflect on what you want next year. Hey, you can let me know in the comments what you're working on achieving for next year, if you would like. If you enjoyed this episode and you want to share it with someone that you think they should go do a pros and cons list, send them the link to this episode and say, hey, go do this pros and cons list. Right, challenge them, get them excited for what they can achieve for the new year. Hey, because sometimes we don't know what people need. Sometimes people just need things from a different perspective to enable them to go to their next level. Right, and I want to help people further their lifestyle. Right, and I want you to further yours, so I appreciate you being here. Any questions, comments, chuck them down below. You can reach out to me on the socials. Appreciate you being here and you have a wonderful day. Cheers.

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