The beginning of a new year is a great time to reflect on your personal and professional growth and accomplishments of the previous year. Time to celebrate with a grateful heart all of those baby steps you demonstrated the courage and commitment to take. Here are some questions to guide the process:
1. What did I accomplish last year? Be specific. Write it all down. Make sure you celebrate every bit of progress—large and small. It all counts because it all moves you forward. Substantive, sustainable growth is found in myriad baby steps.
2. What did I learn? What skills did you pick up? What emotional lessons? What fear fueled self-destructive patterns did you replace with more constructive love-fueled ones?
3. What got in my way? This is where your opportunities for attention and intention may lie this year. Be compassionate and unflinchingly honest with yourself.
4. Who contributed to my lessons and successes? What can you do to acknowledge these contributors? Don’t forget to recognize the collaboration of your Personal Board of Directors. Refer to chapter 6 of my book Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life (Hay House/Balboa Press 2013) for more details on the roles of your Sage, Guardian and Muse.
5. What decisions led to unexpected, painful consequences (some refer to these as “mistakes”)? What did you learn? How were these consequences actually opportunities in disguise? Writing these down may help you clarify different choices you might make in the future.
6. How were the ways in which I chose to show up consistent with my values? And what will you choose to do about any inconsistencies—both occasional and habitual?
7. Where did I not take responsibility? And how might doing so release me from fear and free me to move forward? Sometimes this is easier to see with the benefit of the broader perspective that can result from greater detachment and distance from the actual event. Always be gentle, respectful and compassionate with yourself.
8. How do I rate my efforts and results? Apply a simple three-point scale to rate efforts and results separately: 1) Yippee, 2) okay or 3) blessed with further opportunity for future growth. If your efforts were great but your results were not all that you’d hoped for, how might you adjust your approach to better align your efforts and results.
9. What am I ready to let go of? Doing so can help you move into the new year with more grace and ease, allowing you to make greater progress with less effort.
10. What did I never get around to that I wish I had? Why? How can you ensure that those elements are present this year?
Now, shift your focus to this year. The best way to have a good year is by living life one moment at a time, one day at a time. Each day offers the opportunity for a fresh start. Every day is New Year’s Day! Here are some tips for making 2014 your year to shine by living in generous, effortless, gracious flow filled with faith, hope, prosperity, peace and joy:
1. Take time, slow down. Be here now, mindful and fully present in each moment.
2. Feed your sense of vitality. Nurture yourself in healthy ways. Care for your body, eat well, exercise, rest, invest in consistent self-care.
3. Take time throughout the day to renew yourself. Take a walk, read a poem or a good book, listen to music (really listen); bring beauty into your life. On a monthly basis, take a whole day for yourself—play, treat yourself to something fun; give yourself time away to reflect and restore your energy. Mark these special days on your calendar (in ink) so you’ll be certain to take them.
4. Let go of what weighs you down and holds you back. Clean up what needs to be cleaned up. Make amends, fix what’s broken, clear away clutter, forgive what needs to be forgiven and let go.
5. Feed your sense of creativity. Commit to a meaningful project, learn something new or attain a desired goal. Pay attention to what matters to you and then set your intention to create it. Commitment is the first step. Then set achievable goals and work toward them on a daily, baby step basis.
6. Feed your sense of belonging. Spend quality time with family and friends. Communicate, keep in touch. Say I love you. Tell people you appreciate them.
7. Give yourself to a cause. Volunteer for a nonprofit organization, a community group or your church. Lend a hand to an individual or family in need.
8. Feed your sense of spirituality. Practice whatever form resonates most for you on a daily basis.
9. Laugh every day. It really is such good medicine.
10. Take time to dream. Plant the seeds of your future.
Author’s content adapted under license, © 2008 Claire Communications