I don’t remember exactly who sent me the Yearly Compass, but sometime around this time last year I got the free downloadable document on WhatsApp and promptly printed it out. On a Saturday morning I sat with a friend in Cubbon Park and we spent a few hours filling the document, coming closer to my true north. I did the same this year, in my living room with a friend. As I started my yearly roundup and reflection, I started wondering what draws me to this activity year after year…
There are many advantages of doing a yearly review, or reflections for the year. Below are some of the benefits I have personally experienced.
- Helps you be more mindful. Regardless of how hard we try to be mindful daily, a year is a long time and we often lose track of the bigger picture. When I look at my year in retrospect I can see where I went off track, and what caused me to alter my course. These then become lessons for next year.
- Helps you appreciate your achievements. While doing the yearly review I was bummed that I didn’t have anything I could count as an achievement this year. No second book, no endorsements, no big money making projects. Then I started to look at the year a bit more closely and realized that I had also won a National Yoga Competition, scored really well on my exams and started a yoga calendar that everyone is loving. Sometimes we get so lost in doing things that we forget to celebrate getting things done. Journaling helps us to take a pause and a breath.
- Self assessment/introspection. There was a project I undertook at the beginning of the lockdown which I realize I should have never agreed to. The vision wasn’t aligned to mine and had I said a firm no I would’ve saved a lot more time. I learned that I have to trust in my true north and say no to whatever doesn’t make my heart sing.
- Keeps you focused on the goals for next year. I love this aspect of yearly reflection. When I see my goals listed clearly before me I feel like I’m aligned to my true north. On the other hand, it’s also good to assess your goals every once in a while and make sure these are actually the goals you want to work towards.
- Gratitude. If you have the attitude of gratitude, you can always see the silver linings. The ability to see the stuff that you have going for you even in the darkest time is truly a gift.
Journaling is not fancy and doens’t require too much time. Use this prompt to start your journaling practice:
There’s so much more I could say about how much journaling has helped me and how I consider it to be a mainstay of my spiritual practice. Medha and I have created a yoga calendar for 2021 where journaling is an integral component. Today we’re going live on Instagram to talk about how the Yearly Compass has helped us and how our spiritual practice has been impacted by our journaling. Please join us.
I speak more about my journaling practice in this YouTube video.