When the Rear View Mirror Is Your Best View

Heartland Leadership Initiative on November 30, 2020

Leaders are encouraged to look forward, to anticipate and see what’s coming. Looking back while you’re driving can be outright dangerous!

Examining what’s behind you however can be exceptionally helpful. John Maxwell says that experience is not the best teacher but evaluated experience is.

What does evaluation look like? If I am to learn from my past, what am I looking for? What questions am I asking? How does the past inform the decisions I make going forward?

Here are a few questions to consider from Nadalie Bardowell – How to Review Your Year

1. List three of your “Greatest Hits” from 2020. (A Greatest Hit is anything that made you feel amazing or was memorable.)

2. What are you most proud of and why? (No achievement, accomplishment or win is too small to celebrate.)

3. What would you have done differently? (This could include making a different decision, taking action, changing a reaction, passing or accepting an opportunity.)

4. What were your “Ah-Ha” moments? (A moment of clarity when something just clicks and becomes so clear to you. This could be a learning or life-defining moment.)

5. What were your goals and did you achieve them?

6. How did you achieve your goals? If you didn’t, what went wrong?

7. Where do you want to be one year from now? What’s the plan?

Honest reflection takes courage. It starts with the right questions not just the obvious ones. And it takes humility and awareness to really examine the reasons and causes that contributed to where you are today.

How do you want to show up in 2021? To your spouse, family, co-workers, friends and to yourself?

What needs to change, stay the same or be eliminated? Why?

Here’s a few additional reflecting questions:

What were moments of greatest joy and fulfillment?

Is my like in balance? If not, is that OK?

Who are the people and relationships that matter?

When am I my most inspired self? When do I feel disempowered?

As I imagine myself as an 80-year old looking back at a life well-lived, what do I see?

They say pressure doesn’t cause the leak it only reveals the weakness in the tire. For me, 2020 has been both a tremendous challenge and a tremendous opportunity. Many “leaks” have been exposed, but through evaluation and reflection, opportunities to grow and change have come to light.

I hope these reflective questions will bring optimism and hope to your 2021 outlook and more importantly inspire you to take action and make it so!