Five important questions to ask yourself before you pop champagne on NYEBy Margie Warrell | Dec 21, 16 11:16 AM
You're so close to the bubbles … but there's a bit of reflection to do first.
As we near the end of the year it’s easy to get so caught up in all that still needs to get done that we fail to look back on the year just gone – to acknowledge how far we’ve come and who we’ve become in the process.
I am sure you’ve done plenty this year. And I’m not just talking about what you’ve accomplished, I’m talking about what you’ve overcome … the challenges you’ve faced, the lessons you’ve learned and the setbacks you’ve bounced back from.
While I’m all about focusing forward, I encourage you to take a few minutes before the year is through to reflect on five powerful questions. When I sat down to answer these questions myself I realised why I’m feeling so tired and ready for a break! It’s been one busy year. (If you’re curious about what I wrote down, I’ve included my answers here.)
To help you in your own reflection, I’ve created a worksheet for you that you can download here.
1. What do I need to celebrate?
Many people get so caught focusing on what they haven’t done that they don’t pause very long to celebrate all they have. High achievers are the most guilty of this so if you’re one of them, write down your top achievements this year – your highlights, your wins (large and small) and all those things that you’re pleased you did or were fortunate enough to experience.
2. What do I need to acknowledge?
I’m sure not everything has gone to plan for you this year. No doubt you’ve had a few plans derail or people disappoint you. What do you need to acknowledge in yourself for how you’ve shown up and pressed on and been strong, kind, persistent, positive or brave even when you didn’t feel like it. Write down the top 10 ten things that come to mind and take a bow for having handled them as well as you did.
3. What story do I need to rewrite?
It’s not the events of our lives that determine our happiness, it’s the story we create about them. If you’re holding on to a story about something that happened in 2016 that’s leaving you feeling resentful, guilty, angry, ashamed, rejected or powerless, I encourage you to rewrite it. Remember your stories trigger and amplify emotions (for better or worse) and expand or limit what is possible for you. Rewriting a story will that’s creating negativity will help to release the emotions that aren’t serving you and move toward better possibilities and braver actions in the year to come. Write down your new story.
4. Who do I need to thank?
There are people in your life this year who’ve made you a better person and helped you to step up and handle challenges better. Who are they? While you may have already thanked some of them for their support, perhaps there’s a few people who you haven’t. Imagine how they will feel getting a call or card from you to say how grateful you are to them.
Relationships are the currency of influence and the linchpin for success in your work, leadership and life. Be sure you invest in those which mean the most to you.
5. What new decisions will I make next year?
Your decisions hold power. The very act of making a decision can change everything. Of course some of the decisions you’ve made this year have served you. Others? Not so much. The good news is that every day (not just on January 1st) you have the opportunity to make new decisions … ones that are not driven by what scares you but by what inspires you.
As you reflect back on the choices you made this year that didn’t serve you, identify one powerful decision you can make for the year to come that will set you on a whole new trajectory:
- What will you stop doing or start doing?
- What is a ritual you can incorporate into your day that will help you handle everything else better?
- What goal will you decide to pursue that is worthy of the risk of failure?
- What will you say No to so that you can say a big Yes to yourself?
Again, click here to download the worksheet with these five questions.
Your past doesn’t have to equal your future. Unless you live there. So as you reflect back on the year just gone, make sure you extract all the wisdom it holds so you can step powerfully, purposefully and courageously into the year ahead.
If you’d love support in kick starting 2017 off STRONG, I invite you to attend my Live Brave Day on 4 February
Until next time, remember that growth and comfort can’t ride the same horse. What you want most will always lie the other side of what scares you most.