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Looking back before looking forward: using a Golden Hour to review your month

Updated: Mar 1, 2021

This month, many of my coaching sessions involved some sort of goal-setting. My clients are capable and motivated so they often come prepared with lists of goals. So what's the coaching for, you might ask. Well, I do hope to see some really challenging goals in here, so it is not a given that these will be achieved. So one huge area of value is in helping clients reflect back first. Often proactive, action-oriented leaders are can be less focused on looking back and celebrating. They might undervalue this practice as part of an achievement-oriented mindset.

It is hugely important though. Big goals need big energy, and I want to tap into deeper sources of energy and commitment than their everyday norm. Clients are able to reflect, not just on their tangible achievements but also on the deeper journeys they have made. We can then bring all this great learning and resource to the mountains they wish to climb this year.

Whilst I can't quite do the same thing here in this space, I do want to share a fun way to reflect back on your January during a Golden Hour which I picked up from Gretchen Rubin. Its about making a 'Ta-da' list. Its as simple as writing down your key achievements in that particular day, week, month or year as a 'ta-da'. I've been using it for a year or so and every time I do, I am always surprised by what I have managed to achieve, so its the perfect thing to do before planning for the next set of goals - 'if I managed this, then surely I can do that'. To add a tiny bit more structure to this I suggest categorising these.

Below I set out some of mine as an example. This was a month where, as well as dealing with the homeschooling we had Covid. Along with my sense of smell, any hopes of childcare have also evaporated. Still:


- Reacquainted myself with my MUSE meditation headband during isolation - its such a pleasure to use

- Made good progress on the novel Pachinko - its beautifully narrated on Audible and has a gentle pace and sense of simplicity whilst telling us about such a difficult period in Korean history.


- Read the first Harry Potter alongside my daughter, then watched the film amid much excitement

- Managed to take my kids sledging

- Having taught my daughter to knit in December, she's now independent with it and we have had many happy post-school hours knitting - full of holes, mind!

- We have been time starved but once a week my husband and I have sat down and watched This is Us. This is one of the first times we've managed to watch a box set together - both in terms of pace and taste, and as one friend describes, I haven't yet seen an episode which hasn't given me a lump in my throat.


- There were some real highlights - contributing to or leading on finalising three academic papers, receiving my masters result (90%!) and being invited to supervise other research students. And January coaching around the world is always full of promise, some exciting podcast interviews and collaborations underway. Oh and in the nick of time the tax return was submitted. Considering time was significantly squashed, a really high planning to work ratio meant most priorities were achieved, plus a few extras. The power of golden hours!

January isn't exactly a month that one looks forward to, and this one lived up to its bad rep in significant ways. On the other hand, there was still magic and joy amidst the rather overwhelming load of illness, homeschooling, and hectic work days.

And with the review done, I can get on with planning a Fitness Focused February!


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