This month marks a unique new beginning. We are not only in a New Year, but a New Decade. As we look ahead to all of the things we hope for ourselves, our families and our businesses, it is good time to pause and reflect. There is such power in reflection as it provides clarity for our future. As part of a reflection process that I do regularly, I think about the times that were meaningful and brought me joy in the previous year.
One of these highlights was a reunion this last summer with my family and the celebration of my parents 65th wedding anniversary. We spent a memory making weekend with over 35 family members in beautiful Suncadia, Washington. The last evening of our time together we sat in the living room and honored my parents for the impact they have on our lives. We presented them a special memory book where their kids and grandkids chose a word or phrase about my parents that they found meaningful, along with a personal note to them. This is my parent’s legacy – and fortunately it is a beautiful one. Though they didn’t see themselves as having done anything special, their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren have been positively impacted.
You are creating a legacy too. Every day you are building a legacy, whether you realize it or not. Every day you are making choices, small every-day choices, and sometimes big choices that are leading you in your life. You are moving forward, toward something – what is it? Is it the life that you want? Is it the legacy you want? It is easy to get so caught up in the frantic pace of our lives that we don’t even stop to think about it.
What if you were intentional about creating that legacy now? Imagine if 10 years from now you have intentionally crafted and built a foundation toward the legacy you want to leave.
Here are 3 steps you can use to reflect on the last decade in order to make the next one your best one:
1. Look back over the last decade and consider the milestones – the key events of your life. These will have had positive or negative impact and may include things like getting married, a graduation, or a career transition.
2. What have been the positive achievements and growth areas for you personally and professionally? List as many as come to mind for you. As you do this, evaluate how you have moved forward in positive ways compared to where you were 10 years ago.
3. Now narrow your list to the top three achievements of the last decade. Ask yourself what impact these have had on your life and how you can take these lessons learned forward as opportunities for legacy building – in order to create the next decade of significance.
Remember, it is important to reflect on the past to learn from it, in order to create your best future. Whatever decade you are in – you won’t get to repeat it again. We go through our twenties, our thirties, our fifties, etc. and we don’t get a do over. Whatever season you are in this is a time for a new beginning and an opportunity to create your best future.
How can you make this next decade your best decade?