As I reflect on the closing chapter of the year before stepping into the new one, I find it helpful to contemplate these two questions:

Firstly, what is the challenge that I handled well in the past year?

And then, what fueled my ability to do so?

Perhaps, for you, it was letting go of needing others to feel good about you in order to feel good about yourself. The fuel that enabled you to develop this capacity may have been surrounding yourself with people who accept you for who you are and having healthy boundaries that build authentic connections with yourself and others.

Or maybe life threw a whirlwind of transitions your way – the youngest one taking flight, a precious new grandchild, aging parents needing your support, a relocation, and a fresh job, all bundled up in a single year! You navigated through it all, overcoming challenges, and reaching your current point with the fuel of unwavering support of friends who laughed, listened, cried, and rolled up their sleeves alongside you.

Or you bravely embarked on a new business venture more closely aligned with your passions and skills. The fuel here could have been a friend recognizing your true talents, creating necessary structure or resourcing (hiring out) where your strengths might not fully reside.

Maybe you took gradual steps towards becoming a more defined person who knows what he/she wants, believes, values, etc. The fuel could have been participating in a growth group that helped you recognize your true value, reminding you that you matter more than you give yourself credit for. Or maybe the fuel was being around those friends who are interested in your thoughts and opinions and are good listeners and question-askers.

Maybe this year you took charge of matters you once hoped others would handle – be it your health, finances, or that dream of traveling with friends. The fuel might have been derived from joining a community-style gym, hiring a financial coach, or immersing yourself in travel memoirs, documentaries and drilling your travel-savvy friend for tips!

What was your challenge this year?

What was the fuel that helped you meet that challenge in ways that you are proud of?

As I set my sights on the goals for the upcoming season, I always make a point to identify what the fuel will be. Looking back on what fueled the growth-goodness last year will likely be a clue as to what will fuel this year’s growth-goodness. The goals may have changed, but generally what fuels us will have the same elements.

And I think that as you reflect on the challenges you successfully met, you’ll likely discover that there were healthy relationships with fellow growers somewhere in the mix, contributing to your journey. Thriving through this adventure called life was never meant to be done alone. Let’s keep flourishing together!