This year instead of celebrating New Year’s Eve I marked arrival of 2020 with New Year’s Dawn. I woke shortly after 4am and travelled to the summit of Brisbane’s Mt Cootha to watch the sunrise for the first time in 2020. Several hundred other people had the same idea. However most of the crowd departed as soon as the sun had broken free of the low hanging cloud and dawn was clearly over. I stayed on with another member of my Abundance Global business coaching group to do a ‘Magic Memories’ reflection. This is one of the frameworks I’m using to reflect on the past year and set goals for the coming one. Yesterday I posted about the Wheel of Life reflection.
I’ve not used this framework before. Abundance Global provides a New Year Magic Memories Guide to all coaching group members. They recommend taking 1-3 hours to do this somewhere inspiring – a lookout on the dawn of a new decade certainly met this criteria for me. This process was different from others I’ve used in the way it started. The first step is to “mind map, dot point, list (or any combination of these) your Magic Memories of the past year. These are memories that were highlights for you. Also consider moments that may not have been ‘happy’ however you felt the depth of human emotion. Dump them all down, the order does not matter. When you have written all you can remember, grab your diary and use it as a memory jogger of events, experiences or projects. Add anything you may have missed.”
I had written two pages before I opened my diary and looked at entries throughout the year. The first thing that struck me was just how much I did in 2019 – a lot of travel, events, conversations and projects. I was also surprised by how distorted my sense of elapsed time from different activities was. Recent events felt further in the past, while some early events felt much closer to today. Additionally there were some important events that I had not listed. Our memories are flawed. This is one reason it’s useful to make a record on what you have done and how you do it. We cannot rely on our memories to be accurate. Additionally our perceptions and recollections of an event change over time. Recording as things are happening sharpens recollection.
I wrote another page of memories.
After finishing my magic memories list the guide then asked a series of questions about the past year, followed by some about creating the new year. The list of magic memories provided fuel to help respond to these questions. A few of unusual questions that I’d not come across in other reflection guides were:
* What was the most loving service you performed?
* What important relationship improved the most?
* What compliment would you have liked to receive?
* What major indulgence are you willing to experience?
Regardless of the reflection questions used, generating a list of magic memories (both highlights and those that provide positive learnings even if they didn’t seem so positive at the time) is an excellent way to start a reflective process. I’m going to do this step prior to my quarterly Wheel of Life update in future.