My end of the year reflections and How to review your 2017

me in Roma .jpeg

Hello digital world! I feel like it's been ages I haven't written in here, and in fact it was almost one month. Needless to say in December I have been caught up into the busyness of ending all the year's business, Christmas and endless birthday parties and coming back home to Italy for the holidays.

I have been here for a week and in between the family events I took some solo time off to do one of my very favorite things, slowing down to really savor the end of this BIG year, reflecting on all the things that happened in 2017on the inside and outside and dreaming up for the new year coming !

I have to admit that the second part is always the easiest because it's so simple to get excited about What's Next and planning and plotting the new adventures, but this time I consciously chose to acknowledge all the accomplishments of this year with gratitude and attention, and I'm so happy I did it. 

IF I HAD TO SUM UP MY 2017 IN FEELINGS THEY WOULD BE.....

2017 was a full on year! If I had to describe it in a few words I would choose : INTENSE, ACTIVE and bit of an EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER .

my year of love 

 This time last year I had chosen a guiding word,  LOVE, and I have to admit it wasn't difficult to keep in mind. Love guided me during the 12 past months like a loyal companion. I chose it because I wanted to find romantic love, as simple as that. But what happened was much deeper than that. The process helped me to open my heart in all my relationships. It showed me the ways in which I was blocking authentic love to enter my life and it also opened some old wounds and fears. 

I had very low moments of frustration and loneliness, but there were many more moments of connection, sisterhood and deep friendships. Yes the love among friends was the one that supported me the most but I also challenged myself in dating much more than in the past and I learned so much about myself in this sometimes fun and sometimes bizarre experience. 

It's so true that relationships are our greatest teachers and honestly I'm so happy I spent a year of big feelings because even if hard sometimes, they are so much more fun than putting up walls and not feeling at all, so I'm totally grateful also for the disappointing moments I had. 

the biggest takeaway for me 

Probably the biggest lesson I got from this year was the capacity of asking for help. I have always been the kind of person that wants to do it all by myself but this year I simply couldn't . I learned how we're not isolated islands and it requires a TRIBE to help us create our personal dreams and become the person we desire. When this lesson kicked in I felt my heart refilling with so much joy because I knew I was ALWAYS supported, always!

what i learned from MY FIRST YEAR OF FULL TIME ENTREPRENEURSHIP 

But 2017 was also my first full year as an entrepreneur, it was literally the first year in my life in which I worked and put things out there, more than studying in the academic setting. In the previous couple of years my coaching, yoga and blogging were already there but I've only fully stepped into the role this year. I worked hard, I understood what I liked and what I didn't, I let go of commitments that didn't resonate and I moved closer to what felt good to me. I encountered financial struggles and understood the lows of not having a "regular job" means, like not getting paid on the days you don't have work, putting a lot of effort for apparently little return , all the uncertainty of the future and lots more. 

But I still believe it's the best decision I ever took in life.

It allowed me to have the freedom of create something that it's an extension of me, fully express my creativity, not have a upper limit to what I can do and connection with the most amazing people ever! It built up my confidence to be able to "sell" myself, the responsability of showing up as a good professional because I had no boss on top covering for your mistakes and mostly to create a completely heart-led career that will evolve and grow with me. Basically the best personal development too ever. 

HOW MY RELATIONSHIP WITH TRAVEL EVOLVED 

On top of all these things 2017 was also the year in which I got my travel bug back. As you may recall the last couple of years I had a strong need to feel grounded, to build a home for myself. The most important home is our inner home but at the speed of the modern life, not having a physical place to call home can definitely feel ungrounded. So in 2015-16 I lived in the same flat after years of moving around and I really committed to travel less so I could build a nest for myself, some roots to fly higher. And that two foundational years were golden because they allowed me to create a new career and make Paris my home base. And honestly having a safe harbor to come back everyday was on the top of my daily gratitude list. As much as I enjoy travel I really really needed this sense of belonging and this year was the first time I felt called to do some travel again with this new attitude. I visited Bali, Armenia, Sardegna and London and each of these trips were unforgettable and I approached them with a state of wonder and presence that I had lost in the past. 

a very social year 

I started on the 1st of the year with a great party and as a famous quote states, the way you start the year is the way you will spend most of it and honestly I confirm that 2017 was a very social year for me. I was out a lot and spent time with the greatest friends. I think I really desired to feel these festive vibes and I enjoyed each moment of it by creating some amazing memories. I'm very proud of having found a nice balance between personal and professional life, and be present for both, at the same time also by reading pages of my journals I saw how many times I felt exhausted and in need of a total reset, so in 2018 I'm willing to manage my energies with more care and only say Yes to social events I truly care about. 

Overall 2017 was the best year yet, and honestly I feel a bit nostalgic in letting it go in just 3 days time. I'm cherishing every last bit of it and I'm slowly uncovering the vision for 2018 that doesn't look bad so far ;-)

But first I want to share my process to review your 2017 if you haven't done it yet. It's a powerful process so I really invite you to carve out a couple of hours just by yourself to look back and give this year the farewell it deserves :

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HOW TO REVIEW YOUR 2017 : 

STEP 1 : Gather all your memories from the past 12 months.  

You can go as detailed as  you want and I personally dove quite deep because I have a tendency of forgetting what I did and so skipping many incredible souvenirs and accomplishments! To do so you can grab your journal (s) from the year , look at your photos on the phone and even look at your calendar from January to December. I personally gathered all my journals, (about 7! ) from 2017 and looked month by month at what happened by scrolling my Google Calendar and luckily I did because I was so surprised to see it all happened in the same year! Then I also looked at the photos on my Google Photos account and matched the memories with the images. It took few hours but it allowed me to reflect of what I got out of each month.

STEP 2 : Time for some reflection. 

Once you have looked at what happened you may find it challenging to ask yourself the right questions to reflect, I totally get it. I personally used a workbook I do every year, it's the popular Unravelling your Year by Susannah Conway and I couldn't recommend it enough. It's a wonderful guide that takes you hand in hand through the year that passed. I also love her free mini course to Find the Word of the year. I also looked at other two resources, The Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018 workbook by Project Love and the workbook created by my lovely friend Ariadne too! 

STEP 3 : Gratitude.

This step is also key, it's time to say thank you to the past year. You can also write a letter titled "Dear 2017, I thank you for...." and really soak in all the learnings you got out of the past 365 days of your precious life!

STEP 4 : Let it go and open up .

It's time to let the past go and open up to the infinite possibilities of a new blank slate! This is an exciting phase, but again let all that happened settle it, enjoy the last few days of holidays and be present. Simply keep yourself open to possible guidance you may receive, don't rush to make plans and set strict resolutions. In the workbooks I listed there are great prompts to dream up to what's next. I'll write a separate post to my 2018 intentions and vision !

Finally share in the comments below, if you could sum up your 2017 with a FEELING, what would you choose ? And what is the biggest takeaway from this year?

Thank you infinitely for reading and being here! This space is sacred to me and I'm so grateful for all the people that I connected with here or on social media this year, let's team up to make the world a happier place with our choices and by following our inner lights more and more in 2018. I'll be back in a few days to help you set the intentions for 2018 ! 

 

 

 

 

Alessia Gandolfo