Over the last few years now, I got myself into the habit of setting some time aside and putting down my thoughts and observations. My way of wrapping up that day, week or month.
So it is not surprising that comes December, what started as a humble note jotting would become a much bigger deal, i.e. an end-of-the-year inventory to help me close a year’s chapter with awareness and purpose.
This year will be no different – I am going back to my pen and paper, noticing my year’s highlights and milestones; acknowledging my achievements and my failures, and what I have learned from each.
Would you like to join me? If yes, find a place to sit without being disrupted, grab a beverage of your choice, pen, and paper – we’re starting.
Start by asking yourself these 4 questions
- What am I most proud of?
- What were my biggest accomplishments? why?
- Where could I have done better? what did I learn from it?
- Who do I want to be going forward?
You can stop reading this post here – There is enough material to get you going for a few. But, because I have been doing this introspection for many years, with myself and with my clients, I know quite well that when something feels uncomfortable, the temptation is big to want to skim, shortcut or bypass.
And we shall not! this year, I would like to do things a bit differently. Instead of introspection only, I am adding actions and commitments to myself.
Focus on an ongoing not-to-do-list
Yes I know, new year = new you = new goals = frustration mid-January post holidays hangover. So this year, we will do a not-to-do-list.
Perk 1/ increased awareness of what is not working for you anymore; Perk 2/ committing to having better boundaries, as your non-negotiables are now part of your goals. Hence, there is less of an excuse as to why you can bend your own rules (“I was caught off-guard in the moment”) – and only adapt them to the circumstances, as you see fit.
Here is a non-comprehensive list of some of the not-to-do’s, add/take out/ amend for yours.
- Not honoring my commitments to myself
- People-pleasing and not speaking my truth (with integrity and kindness)
- Putting people’s needs before mine (when it is a habit)
- Not doing what is right for me because “what will they think about me”
- [insert yours]
Craft your own customized mantras
And so that you can be your own coach, guide, guru and mostly your best cheerleader.
How can you change any negative self-talk into words of encouragement?: remember “don’t worry, be happy”? something along those lines that could help you get out of the story you’re telling yourself about how not good enough you are.
Some examples: “I messed up, I now know how not to do it this way again” instead of rehashing the guilt and shame. “Anything can be an experiment that gives me new data”. “Not everything is going as planned, but I am ok right now”.
See what I mean? now your turn for your new year-new you catchphrase.
Do you have a fear/courage checklist?
If not, this is your sign.
- What do you apprehend most?
- What have you done so far to get over it?
- What worked?
- What didn’t?
- What is this fear costing you?
From public speaking to not knowing how much you have in the bank, fears can be the single obstacle that stands between your present situation and where you want to be.
Now, not all fears are created equal, but many can be tackled when we decide to face them.
- Is it something you can do yourself and if so is it time efficient? great, do it now!
- Do you need outside help? great, ask around, hire a coach, a therapist, or a financial planner, and do it now!
Do not wait another year, month or even day – there is freedom and liberation on the other side of the “fear of” tunnel. Getting to that other side can well mean more peace of mind and more and new opportunities opening up. This is you investing in yourself and in a better future.
And what better goal than that for the New Year?!?