A Simple Exercise for Success in the New Year
For many people, by the time you reach December, you’re just ready for the year to be done and for a fresh one to start. This can happen even when the past 11 months have actually been pretty great.
When the holidays roll around, the stress, chaos, and cold weather inevitably take over and leave you ready to wipe the slate clean.
If this is you, know that you are not alone. I’ve talked to many, many people who feel the same.
However, before we end 2021 and flip our planner pages to 2022, I want you to pause and consider a couple of simple questions that I know will affect how you enter the new year.
Question 1: What did you love about this year?
This question is one that most people all too often skip over in the hustle and bustle of a year ending.
You get so ready to plan for the year ahead that you forget to examine the highlights of the year you’ve had.
But before looking ahead, consider...
- What are things that you want to celebrate?
- What are things that went well?
- What are things that you are proud of?
- What are things that you want to make sure you continue to do in the upcoming year?
If you’re a Top Planner user, you know I encourage you to celebrate and recognize your successes all year long. And if you’ve been doing this, the end of December is the perfect time to go back through the past 12 months in your planner and review every single one of those weekly success trackers and monthly success trackers. Doing this will be a great reminder of the things that went well for you.
On your own, it can be challenging to remember what you were doing last January right now if you don't track and look back on those successes.
You can also go through your plans and note any vacations you loved and want to repeat. Or take note of any new routines you established and want to continue.
The point is: Don’t be in such a hurry to end the year and start the next one without first capturing and celebrating all of the good that happened over this last year.
Question 2: What are things that you would like to make sure you don't bring forward into the new year?
Now, this question is one that a lot of people do ask, but probably not in the best or most productive way.
You may be looking back on your year, and all that you seem to remember are the things that you didn’t like or what didn’t work out. The goals you didn’t hit or the pursuits you didn’t finish.
And when you wrap up a year from that perspective, you’re really setting yourself up to begin the new one from a place of negativity instead of a place of excitement and possibility.
However, this doesn’t have to be the case. What if, instead, you looked back on the things that didn’t work out from a place of learning and curiosity. Ask questions such as...
- How do I want to do this differently in the future?
- Is this something I want to bless, release, and leave behind?
- Can I move on from this and not let it dictate or ruin my future?
There’s a reason why pro athletes always go back and watch past game or event footage. If they lose or don’t perform their best, they don't just forget about it and move on.
They go back and rewatch it to look at what went well. They also ask: What do I need to do differently? What do I need to train on? What do I need to tweak? What do I need to tackle differently moving forward?
If you can adopt this kind of lens for looking back on your year asking the two key questions...
- What did I love about this year that I should celebrate and bring forward into the new one?
- What didn’t go well that I need to adjust or leave behind in the future?
...then you are going to be approaching the new year not from a place of desperately needing a new start, but from a positive and exciting place.
Whether you realize it or not, going through this simple exercise is going to help rewire your brain and set you up for success.