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Taking stock

This time of year is a great time to hit the pause button and take stock.

Why not have a little harvest festival of your own (mind) by reflecting on the wealth and abundance so far and what it is you still need to sow to move closer to your goals. If you are feeling parched and exhausted and ready to hibernate "taking stock" of your situation can be helpful in making steps to check in and replenish yourself too.

One thing I find, particularly when life has picked up momentum, is that it is easy to allow those achievements or experiences you have can float on by unnoticed and unprocessed. Maybe you haven't really connected to an significant part of something.

In fact without pausing for a second it is easy to over look that you may have progressed towards something you wanted in your life without really being conscious of it. Maybe it's just a a small cog in the bigger wheel of your goal?

In coaching, I find it can be common for someone to have far surpassed a specific goal before they notice this change now sits in the distance of an even greater experience.

Taking a moment to reflect can be really useful in building momentum for future goals and recognising the skills you have used or have learned from these experiences (Challenges or Successes).

It is also really helpful to explore the fact that some of the things, you wanted to achieve, have fallen by the wayside (If this is the case it could be helpful to read my blog on "priorities" here to help you explore this more).

Take Stock

Here is a short and simple way to take stock -

  • Take 15-30 minutes out. I suggest a quiet, comfortable and relaxing place to do this.

  • I have uploaded a document for you to work from (below) or feel free to ad-lib in your preferred creative way (a conversation with a friend, a doodle or diagram or maybe even through creating a photo mood-board capturing the essence of the headings outlined).

  • If you usually plan things you want to achieve in the year and wrote these down well Brucey Bonus! You can have these to hand and consider them against the document below.

  • Firstly, consider looking back on a highlight or progress you made for each month (believe me this can take some racking of the brains!). If you want to explore more than one that's fine, aim to get something for each month.

  • Next look at unexpected stuff that has gone on so far, something you had not planned for factored in or expected (this may have been something that was beneficial or it may have impacted on you significantly and meant things had to be a little re-planned/re-directed).

  • Next explore: Was there something you thought you would have done at a particular time but didn't? consider did you achieve it at a later date?

  • For the months ahead of you, you might want to carry things forward? Explore what it is you want to achieve in the next few months.

  • Now the really reflective bit, what have you learned through all of this - you may want to look at the whole picture or you might want to pick out one column for each month perhaps.

  • If you have any significant feelings or thoughts that come to mind as you do this make note of them in someway, they are likely to be significant. For example common feelings might be pride, excitement or even frustration or overwhelm....

When I did this exercise for myself I got to recognise how some of the smaller, perhaps insignificant steps at the time, forged the way to the "bigger picture" goals. Everything from a short conversation with someone to taking up a new activity have played their part of longer-term goals and new ways of thinking, feeling and being in life.

The unexpected things were at times uncomfortable, unknown and unfamiliar and yet with my reflection perspective I get to see how time-limited they were now and I can see the fruit bared from the learning reaped from these experiences too.

Taking stock is a great way to pause, reflect and refocus. A chance to see what direction we are heading and what we want to change or achieve moving forward. It helps us to recognise the jigsaw pieces that form a goal, a sense of identity or a vision of where we want life to be. Seeing the picture in this way can help us connect with our inner feelings and sense of self.

Is it happiness you feel? Are you where you want to be right now in life? Are there new changes to be made or things you want to reconnect with?

At the centre of it all is you, making it all possible. Remember that, when you take stock.

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