As we wrap up the calendar year, I always like to take some time to reflect on what kind of a year it’s been.
- What were my biggest accomplishments?
- What am I most proud of that happened this year?
- Which areas did I fall short?
- What would have made the year better?
- Did my financial picture get stronger?
- Did I make every effort to strengthen my relationships?
- Did I strengthen my faith and religion?
- What do I have to be most grateful for?
- Any other thoughts or questions you might have that fit personally with your life
Before the New Year’s Eve parties and songs of Auld Lang Syne, take some time to write your answers down—on paper or in a word document—and look back at them again next year, and the year after that. Continue to do so every year, taking just 15 minutes to truly review the past 12 months—being completely open and honest with yourself.
However pleasant or painful the answers to these questions might be—it is a wonderful practice to get into. As we approach the New Year, it’s just a great opportunity to press the reset button, sit back and assess where you are in your life, and what you can do to get closer to your goals and dreams in life.
This may sound ridiculous to some, or like a waste of time, but I encourage you to try it just once and see what kind of thoughts it generates for you. 365 days is a long time to just store inside your head—many times we forget all that really happened in the past year. Reflecting on it allows you to learn and improve going forward. Every failure is just an opportunity to learn, then grow. Don’t waste those opportunities. I know I have many to learn from.
Not only can you learn from your failures, but you can also take this New Year routine to build on your successes. Continue to do that which made your happy, or profitable, or successful, or closer to those around you.
Focus on everything you have in your life right now to be grateful for. Gratitude is one of the most surefire ways to bring more of what you desire in your life. Putting emphasis on the positive aspects, appreciating them, and truly feeling thanks encourages and opens you up to more of the same. I’m grateful for my family and friends, my opportunity to help others in my career, and my relationship with God—among many other blessings. I never forget it. It brings great happiness and unlimited potential for the future going forward. Without gratitude, I would never enjoy or even realize all of the amazing blessings in my life. I highly encourage this practice for you as well.
Learning from this New Year Routine
This is not a time to beat yourself up for missed opportunities or areas where you fell short. That’s not the point here. The point is to make sure that you are growing every year—in the areas that are most important to your success and happiness. Like I said before, learn from your failures, and build on your successes—that’s the goal here.
If the answers to those questions above are not to your liking, what will you do to change it next year—so that you can answer those questions in a positive light? If your answers are already positive, what were the biggest factors to your success, and what will you do next year to continue the momentum?
Most of us will have a mixture of the good with the bad. There are always events or things that happened to us that we can be proud of; and on the flip side, there are usually situations where we fell short, or maybe didn’t quite make a big enough effort. That’s ok—it happens. What should not happen is continued failure every year.
That’s why doing this New Year routine each year is a great habit to get into. We can see patterns in our years we might not see otherwise. You absolutely must change something up if you continue to see more failure rather than success year after year. Why the continued failure, and what can you do to change it? Or if you are continuing to see more of the good than the bad each year, what can you do to ensure this pattern continues? You’re doing something right, keep that momentum going!
I think you get the point. Learn from your failures, build on your success. It’s a quick and easy practice to do each year, and one that will pay dividends going forward. Give it a shot and be honest with yourself.
New Year Goal Setting
The New Year is also a great time to review and revise your one and five-year goals. I always maintain a clear and detailed picture of what I want my life to look like in the future.
Think of exactly what you want to be doing in your life. Maintain two separate documents—one-year goals and five-year goals. Be as detailed as possible. What car will you be driving? Where will you live, and in what kind of house? How much money will you make? What is your career in one and five years? Do you have children—and what are they like? Are you happy? Just keep going to accurately describe your life in those upcoming years.
You are what you constantly think about. Focus on the qualities, people, things and events that you want in your life. Thing big—don’t limit yourself. That’s what makes goal setting so powerful. It works, and it’s the first step in achieving all that you desire. Best of all, you can begin immediately. Right now!
There’s really nothing to lose here with this New Year routine—and a whole lot to gain. Let us know your thoughts and how we can help—that’s what we’re here for. Now get thinking and writing! The time is now.
Happy New Year!