Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Goodbye 2015

Looking Forward, Looking Back

Our modern celebration of New Year's Day stems from an ancient Roman custom- the feast of the god Janus, the pagan god of gates, doors and beginnings. The month of January also comes from Janus, who was depicted as having two faces. One face of Janus looked back into the past, and the other peered toward the future. 

As the month of December comes to a close, I feel like Janus: wanting to look back and reflect upon all that 2015 had to offer, but eager and looking forward to 2016.

Just days away, New Year's Eve gives us a wonderful opportunity to review the past year. Earlier this week,  I found this  New Year's Eve Reflection Game. It is the perfect way to remember your best moments, your greatest accomplishments and your favorite things.

Created by the Dating Divas, this game was originally intended for couples but is also ideal for a family. Even better, if you're an SLP, this game is perfect for targeting verbal expression, speech production, voice, memory, pragmatics, etc. during individual and group therapy sessions.

It's super simple:  print and cut out the cards, toss them in a bowl and mix them up, take turns pulling out the cards, reading the questions and sharing your answers. Easily modifiable for a variety of skill levels, it's like having a day's worth of therapy sessions planned for you. You're welcome. 

Of course, you will want to click the link above to see the entire game. In the meantime, here are are few of the thought provoking questions that are included.  If you were playing with me, this is how I might respond...

How Was Your Year?
10 Questions to Ask as You Contemplate 2015

1.  What new skills did you learn?

  • ABA techniques to use with dementia patients
  • Feeding techniques to use with preemie patients

2.  What is something you did this year you are proud of?

  • Treated a total of 41 patients and provided a total of exactly 500 visits
  • Created a new business:  Spontaneous Speech, Inc.
  • Developed, designed and launched Pictures for Progress, an awesome new line of therapy tools
  • Was the featured Success Story on the cover of Small Business 360 magazine
  • Received recognition as a  Small Business Leader in the areas of job expansion and business development

3.  What are you most excited for in the upcoming year?

  • Business development and expansion:  
    • Spanish translations
    • Products featured in catalogs (US and UK)
    • Production of Pictures for Progress #2 and #3
    • Apps and digital flashcards

4.  What is a New Year's resolution you have?

  • To implement the concept of addition by subtraction...because sometimes, less is more

5.  If you could relive one day from this past year which day would it be and why?
  • I want to go back to the ASHA convention in Denver.  I would make sure my Square, U Swipe and Pay Pal card readers were working properly...each one of them. (In case you missed it, none of them were working properly. It was a nightmare, but at least I managed to keep my cool.)

6.  What is something hard you did this year?

  • Grieved the passing of an infant patient

7.  What is something nice you did for someone this year?

  • Spent extra time with a lonely patients, overwhelmed spouses and exhausted parents whenever possible. It is just a part of what we do as SLPs every day, but it does feel really nice, if you ask me.

8.  What three words would sum up this year for you?

  • Exciting
  • Changing
  • Growing

9.  What was the best conversation you had this year?

  • Talking with Bill,  a WWII veteran, about amphibious landings on a Higgins Boat. It was a priceless memory shared by a man of the Greatest Generation. 

10.  What was the best advice you received this year?

  • Be consistent.

Because contemplation brings clarity, I encourage you to take a look back at your year as a means for gaining perspective on the good, the bad and the ugly. Record your answers to these questions on the back of the game cards and save them as a keepsake for 2015. This is a tradition you can do year after year and collect your memories over time. It will be fun to see how things have changed over the years.   Enjoy!

As the year winds down, we say goodbye to 2015. Now, it's time to set our sights on the future. I encourage you to  make resolutions, set goals and create your vision for an incredible 2016. Good luck and have fun!

To make an end is to make a new beginning.
T. S. Eliot