Smart Design With Suzette: The Year In Review

Courtesy photo

Los Alamos

Happy Holidays everyone!

As we slide into the remaining week of 2016, it’s time for pause and reflection.

For many this has been a really tough year. No doubt, some wonderful things have happened in your life. And, you’ve likely had your fair share of struggles and setbacks, too.

The idea is to create a road map for the year ahead—an overall outline of what matters and what you hope to achieve in the next year. I complete this process in bits and pieces over several days because it helps me to think about it slowly.

While a lot of people want to speed ahead to focus on a fresh New Year, don’t underestimate the power of learning from the past, especially your mistakes. There’s a lot of unleveraged wisdom to be mined from the past 12 months.

As Margaret Wheatley said, “Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.”


What went well?

This question is a keeper from year to year. Acknowledge all that worked out well: the goals you achieved, the events and circumstances you feel good about. We underestimate what can be done over the course of a year. Looking at a whole year in review, you may be surprised at everything you’ve accomplished.

Who needs to be acknowledged?

After acknowledging what went well, think about the people who played a part. Let them know. Consider all the contexts in your life (personal, professional, volunteer, etc.). Expressing gratitude will not only make the receiver feel good, it will make you joyful as well. It’s a great gift and ’tis the season after all.

What’s not working?

Take an honest look to acknowledge what isn’t working anymore. Are your values being compromised? This is a tough question but if you are true with yourself this could reveal insights leading to more meaningful year ahead.

Results from Last Year

Next, look at the goals set last year. Were they achieved?There are usually a few goals that I don’t achieve for whatever reason. Sometimes circumstances change and the goal is no longer relevant.


What thresholds will you be crossing?

As you leave 2016 behind and begin a new year you are crossing a threshold. Will there be some big changes happening at work (or elsewhere)? Or perhaps an intentional change you want to create?

What do you want?

Now it’s time to think about your goals, intentions and possibilities for the year ahead – for you personally, for your family, for your career, and for your home. Write your goals down and make them specific and concrete.

How will you put this into action?

Of course, naming the goal is only the start. You also have to back that up with a plan, commitments, and action! What will you do?


Building a habit of reflection is critical for your personal and professional well being, that instills self-awareness, efficacy and resiliency. In general, being mindful and practicing gratitude is a sure way to achieving your goals.

For me, I’m here to serve. My company is built on a foundation of education, a passion for eco-design and a commitment to my community to be an unstoppable force for good. I believe you must bring your whole self to the table if you want to make an impact and thrive in today’s world.

This column intentionally lacked beautiful photos because this article is about you – creating your own vision – for your future.

For help with your home, contact Suzette through her website and on Facebook at

LOS ALAMOS website support locally by OviNuppi Systems