At the close of every year people start thinking about the year that has gone by and all the things that they didn’t do. The weight that they didn’t lose, the job that they didn’t get, the relationships that didn’t turn out like they thought they would and the bills that they didn’t pay off. Once you start listing all of your failures, reliving the disappointments and beating yourself up for missed opportunities it should come as no surprise that you will feel pretty crappy. You will be only see yourself as the person who didn’t get things done or the person who is unworthy of moving forward.
I started a process a couple of years ago that entailed only listing the things that I accomplished, and it has changed my perception myself and my efforts heading into the new year. I focused on the bills I was able to pay off. The trips or adventures I was able to take. The experiences I was able to have with my family and friends. The improvements I was able to make in my career. The improvement of existing friendships and relationships that occurred as well as the steps I that I took to improve my health and fitness.
Another way that I was able to start the year off more positively was by no longer making resolutions. When I used to make resolutions I seemed to, invariably, forget all about the lofty pledges that I made by the third week of January and at the end of the year I had no real measurable way to gauge my successes or missteps, so I stayed in a rut. I have been making yearly goals instead and breaking those goals down into actionable steps that I can work on then every three months I look back at my goals and realign my efforts, if needed, to stay on track. 2018 was a year of financial setbacks, fractured friendships, new career opportunities, travel with friends and family and deeper bonds. By keeping my tracker handy and setting quarter reminders on my calendar I have been able to complete more of my goals.
The final thing that I commit to every year is reading one self-improvement book per month. I am an avid reader and typically read about 25+ books per year but I realized a few years ago that if I wanted to grow as a person in all areas I would need to expand my thinking. I have read personal finance books, parenting books, autobiographies of people who inspire me and books about forgiveness, courage and strength. I with each book I read (or re-read) I add another dimension to my way of thinking that helps me stretch and expand my thinking so that I can be my best self.
Keeping a goal tracker, focusing on and celebrating my annual wins (no matter how small), and feeding my mind on positive and growth centered information has helped me stay focused, positive and has added to my resilience. I highly encourage you to add these things to your new year routine this year and watch your life move in the direction of your dreams.