Don’t fall into the trap of waiting for 2022 to start on 1 January. My best tip at this time of the year is to get cracking NOW to avoid a major emotional and energetic slump in January.

Take stock of 2021 now, not in six or eight weeks’ time. By looking back and celebrating how far you have come now, you will be energised to look forward with optimism, renewed energy and gratitude. It’s a great antidote to the phenomenon of languishing that is plaguing so many at this critical time of delivery and reporting, as we hurtle towards the end of the year.

Languishing is different to depression. It’s the feeling of apathy caused by the belief that we are just marking time until things turn a corner, improve, or go back to the way they were before. The apathy leads to a lack of focus, which makes every task feel even more overwhelming than it was before.

Here’s how I turn languishing into looking forward, visually and in technicolour. Open up a Powerpoint or Keynote document on your computer and reflect on 2021 in pictures. Yes, not in numbers and measurements, but in feelings and visuals. Self-reflection is the key to self-awareness: it allows us to look neutrally at our thoughts, feelings, emotions, and actions. Through this practice, we are able to look at ourselves with interest and curiosity. We regain perspective and equilibrium again.

How has 2021 been for you? I like to divide my reflections into three categories that may help you too:

  • Joy
  • Growth
  • Excellence

To download my PowerPoint template: Reflections of 2021: joy, growth and excellence, click here and get going. You will be amazed and inspired (by yourself) when you do this self-reflection exercise.


  • What made you feel light and happy?
  • What sparked joy for you? It can be the smallest of things.
  • Go and look at the pictures on your phone – I promise you will find things that brought you joy reflected right there.
    • Pull them into your reflections.
    • There is no limit to what you can put in.
    • Start with more and if you want (and you don’t need to) whittle it down. Joy is about the abundance of life, so the more the merrier, in my opinion.
    • Experiencing joy through your senses will give you even more inspiration


One thing I know is that when the going gets tough, the tough get going, even if it is hard. Because the world is changing beneath our feet, we are all having to learn new skills and sharpen our saw in different ways. Part of the human condition is to be curious, to learn and to master.

  • Find pictures that express the growth you have experienced.
  • This may not all be stuff you can measure empirically which is another reason for using pictures to describe your year.
  • I tend to find that the growth section of my year is way bigger than the other two. Don’t just look at things you have done and your performance in life; this is also the space to capture emotional growth and lessons learnt.
  • Relationships with others mended, expanding, healing, and blossoming.
  • How about your relationship with yourself, and how you connect with and acknowledge you?


This is likely to be the smallest section and that’s because anything that appears here must really be excellent which means better than good.

  • Maybe you reached a goal, were acknowledged for something exceptional, or perhaps invented something.
  • Even if you only have one or two things here, that’s okay. Last year I think I had four things under excellence.

In my blog Cultivating a Habit of Self-Reflection, you will find even more ideas for this exercise.

When you are able to illustrate or describe your year in pictures, it’s so different from a balance-sheet type of approach. It’s more emotive and focuses on who you are, rather than only on what you do. The what will shine through the who, and you will discover more about yourself, what’s important to you, and what drives you.

Who are you in the world? Who do you want to be? When you look at your joy, growth and excellence, I wish for you a sense of satisfaction of a life well-lived this past year.


  • A renewed sense of purpose
  • Acknowledgment of progress and growth
  • Look how far I’ve/we’ve come
  • I can do this!
  • I’ve got this!
  • The hard work, effort and commitment was worth it!

If you need help getting your team over the line to the end of the year, let’s have a conversation to see how I can help you as a business and motivational speaker. Connect with me at to discuss my talks or my Stronger More Connected Teams workshop that is on the mark.

Much love,
Nikki Bush
Human Potential and Parenting Expert helping you to win at work and life

Enjoy the coffee chat with Margaret Hirsch , where we discussed how to Future-Proof Yourself.