3 Questions to ask yourself about your year in review to create meaningful New Years Resolutions.
Our days comprise our lives. Intentionality means taking stock of our lives and making changes if we’re dissatisfied. Because if you don’t live intentionally, if you don’t check in with yourself often and reflect, it becomes far too easy to move through life without ever having lived on your own terms. I am a huge believer in the feedback loop. Both positive and negative feedback will keep you in the loop.
As Margaret Wheatley said, “Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.”
Marie Forleo, one of my favorite inspiring entrepreneurs, recently put out a post on Marie TV, discussing 3 questions to ask yourself before you sit down to create your new years resolutions. Three thoughts to help you digest what you did this year, leverage what you learned, and let go of all the crap that is holding you back. Get out your calendar, journal, a pen and paper to answer these 3 questions.
- What did you do, create or experience this year that you are really proud of? Assess how much progress you really made this year. We are often too critical of ourselves, thinking we didn’t accomplish enough. What are some big or little things that you can celebrate?
- What mistakes did you make that you can leverage? What did you learn from them? What didn’t go so well? How can you do better next time? How can you use this to grow into a better, wiser person?
- What am I willing to let go of? I love de-cluttering, and tidying up. What are the projects on your to-do list that have been hanging around for too long that you can do, or just drop. Get rid of the goals that are no longer aligned with who you are right now and where you want to go. What resentments/angers/hurts/guilt/shame/embarrassment that you’ve been holding onto, that you are willing to let go of. What stories are you telling yourself that no longer serve you? It’s not until you let go of something that you see how it’s been holding you back.
So before you decide your New Year resolution or set life goals, take a the time to reflect on what you’ve learned these past 12 months with this year in review.
So I got out my calendar and journal and set aside some time to assess the past 12 months. Which brings me to something that has changed and expanded the productivity and creativity of my life exponentially. I have reached so many more goals of mine simply by writing everything down, and making an appointment for (literally everything) in my calendar. I used to be a list girl, writing down numerous lists on fleeting sheets of paper, only to cross off some things, and crumpling many. Now I’ve created a habit of writing anything down I need to get done, categorizing it, setting a deadline to it, and scheduling a specific time in my calendar for it to be done. Nothing is left out, I schedule my business tasks, work, school time, exercise, household chores, what’s going to be for dinner every night of the week a week in advance, even times that I devote to being present with my darlin or friends. So many people overestimate what they can get done in a day, and underestimate what they can get done in a life. I estimate how long every task will take me, and then I can see my day as a timeline, and move easily from one task to another, with very little wasted time. Some tasks take longer than expected, or need to be moved around, which is why the apple calendar is such a great tool, rather than pen and paper.
So looking back on my 2016, I actually accomplished a lot. I sometimes get into funks, and think I’m going nowhere, because I’m not “THERE” yet. Looking back on my year, I can realize that I am moving at a decent pace toward my personal and business goals, and nothing happens overnight. This realization can help prevent future negativity spirals, just by looking back at my massive list of great things I HAVE accomplished this year. Maybe this list will be my new laptop background, right next to my big goals and visions.
What mistakes did I make? Even with allocating all of my time wisely, far too often my mind would drift to social media, and the endless scroll for that next dopamine hit. Social media is addictive, and stimulates your brain like a drug. Receiving “likes” on social media stimulates the same pleasure centers in the brain that are stimulated by rewards like money and sex. Finding a balance between using social media for business marketing, and the endless pleasure I can receive from it proved challenging, and something I have yet to master. This is where I have decided to create a new years resolution. Starting the new year I will take a digital detox and will set hard lines in the sand better allocating my time around social media after the detox. (Stay tuned for a future blog post on learned tools and tricks in diminishing the endless scroll). The hours spent double tapping are not harmless and are changing our brains.
What am I willing to let go of? I’ve dropped some business goals that are no longer aligned with where I am going. I am also letting go of some angers and resentments I’ve held towards people, as well as guilt and shame I’ve held toward myself. I am also choosing to let go of a few limiting beliefs that are holding me back. One particular limiting belief I have around money has prevented me from saving for anything other than the next 6 months. A home, a kid, and retirement have up until now been hypothetical, “impossible” to save for and only brought on overwhelm if I even thought of them. I haven’t started making more money, but I am shifting my money mindset, and taking actions in ways like setting up a budget, and a savings action plan. However little amount I manage to save, I am shifting my beliefs about my saving ability. Anything that doesn’t bring me joy? Its gone.
So those are some of my big wins and mistakes I made in the past year. What did you reveal just under the surface when you looked back on your year? What are some of your uncelebrated accomplishments? Some hard learned lessons you’d be wise not to repeat? Some emotional baggage you are ready to let go? There’s a lot of unleveraged wisdom to be mined from the past 12 months. Share yours in the comments below!