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Published on 29 Dec, 2023
Did you write letters to Santa when you were a child?
My Dad told me before Christmas Day was over, I would already be writing my wish list to Santa for the following year! 
We had a good laugh over this. 
Most kids eagerly anticipate Christmas – but for me, it was double the anticipation.
That’s because my birthday happens to fall on Christmas Day. 
I know what you’re thinking…
“Gee, that must suck having your birthday on Christmas” 
Kind of, but I’ve never known any different.
Mum would always wrap my presents in different wrapping paper to signify the difference between my birthday and Christmas presents.
She still does it to this very day.
I’ve always loved this touch, thanks Mum. 
It’s been a long time since I wrote a wish list to Santa.
These days, I write something a little different at the end of the year.
It’s a ritual I began in 2020. 
And it’s this ritual I want to share with you in the final Newsletter for 2023. 
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My Reflection & Intention Letter to Myself
“Of all the ways you could be spending your precious time and attention, it is very unlikely that you are currently spending it in the optimal way. The only path I know for figuring out a better way to spend your life is to sit and think. You simply have to carve out some time to think carefully about what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and what you’re really trying to achieve. Nobody stumbles into a well lived life. It has to be cultivated. Reflection and review are critical.” — James Clear
Do you take time to reflect on your year? 
It’s important to take time to reflect daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. 
That’s why I include daily reflection as one of the five core habits in the 21 Day ‘Fix Your Finances’ Challenge
Reflection helps us recall the progress we’ve made and the successes we’ve achieved.
Reflection also helps us recall the setbacks we’ve faced and the pain we’ve experienced. 
There is wisdom to be gained from both. 
At the end of the year, I dedicate a few hours to sit down and write a letter to myself reflecting on the year that’s been and setting my intentions for the following year.  
Once written, I:
  • Seale the letter in an envelope
  • Address the letter to my future self
  • Put the letter away in my office drawer to be opened in 12 months time
It’s a gift you give yourself that keeps on giving. 
  1. Writing down your reflection feels therapeutic
  2. You realise how much progress you’ve made
  3. It feels nostalgic when you get to open up your letter in 12 months time
We often feel happiest when we feel like we’re making progress towards what we want. 
But if we don’t take time to reflect, we can never truly appreciate how far we’ve come – and we will always feel like we’re so far away from what we want.
This is what entrepreneur coach Dan Sullivan calls ‘The GAP and the GAIN’.
When you’re living in the GAP – you measure yourself against an ideal, and you never feel like you’re good enough. Even if you’ve made incredible progress you never feel happy or satisfied. It’s a trap I see all too often in people. 
However, when you’re living in the GAIN – you measure yourself against where you’ve been. You can see how much progress you’ve made. You feel happy. You feel a sense of satisfaction. 
Here are some prompts I use to help me reflect:
What new experiences did I have this year?
What progress did I make on my goals this year?
What new relationships did I build this year?
What obstacles and setbacks did I encounter this year?
What pain did I experience this year and what can I learn from this?
Who did I become this year?
“I schedule one half-day, always in January, for setting my annual Intentions. I look forward to it all through the holiday season, because when one has the three simple steps down cold, every day can be like Christmas, and you are basically writing your own Christmas list for the coming year. I think of my pen like a magic wand.” — Trevor Blake
Once I’ve finished reflecting on my year, I take some time to set my intentions for the coming year. I like to think of this part like I’m ‘writing the script’ for how I want my year to unfold – and then I get to act the part. 
The major difference between a goal and an intention, is an intention is a goal with all doubt of its attainment removed. Instead of trying to figure out HOW it’s going to happen – you simply allow life to fill in the details. 
For a more comprehensive understanding of intention setting – I highly recommend getting a copy of Trevor Blakes book ‘Three Simple Steps’ that I wrote about in last week’s newsletter on ‘The 5 Most Influential Books I Read in 2023’
With your intention setting it’s important to disregard all your current circumstances. Use your imagination to write down what you really want to happen in the coming year. Allow yourself to dream.  
Here are some prompts I use to help me set my intentions:
What new experiences do I want to have next year?
What goals do I want to achieve next year?
What new relationships do I want to build?
Who do I want to become?
The late entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn said there are three treasures we can leave behind:
  1. Our photographs
  2. Our library of books that helped shape us
  3. Our journals – full of our ideas, experiences and lessons
Your reflection letters can become a valuable treasure you leave behind one day.
A few years back my Dad wrote a small memoir and gifted a copy to me and my siblings. It’s something I will treasure for the rest of my life and will pass down to future generations.  
If you have the desire to do so, your reflection letters can become the details of your memoir you write later in life. A gift you can give your children and future generations so they can learn more about what shaped you.
Finally, I want to thank you for being a loyal reader of my newsletter this year. 
One of my intentions this year has been to raise the standard of my newsletters to ensure you look forward to receiving these each week – I want them to be educational, entertaining and empowering.
I look forward to sharing more with you in 2024. 
Big Love & Happy New Year!

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