You know the drill. Starting in January, everywhere you look you’re going to be inundated with frenzied messages urging you to make fresh starts, set goals, and take action (which is why you need to eat those holiday cookies now!!). But before you spend too much time figuring out where you’re going, the one thing you MUST do is take a moment to reflect.
Now I’m not asking you to dwell on the past. That will only prevent you from moving forward with gusto. But rather, take an assessment of 2023 using these three questions as guidelines:
1. What is the one thing I am most pleased, proud, satisfied or grateful that I managed to achieve, overcome or establish this past year? Did you learn a new skill that’s saved you time, money or your sanity? Maybe it’s simply a Word or Outlook shortcut key, or maybe you mastered an entirely new software program. Perhaps you set a clearer boundary with a family member, or stopped yourself from choking Party Patty, the gal in the office who’s constantly collecting for the next office gift. Write it down.
2. What one behavioral change have you implemented that has most changed your year? Did you refrain from automatically treating yourself to a Starbucks while shopping? Maybe you woke up 10 minutes earlier to meditate or make three more outgoing calls at the office. Perhaps you made it a point to stop what you’re doing, get up and greet those you love daily with a hug or kiss. It can be the little daily changes that over the course of a year have a significant impact on your life. Again, write it down.
3. What is something you’ve wanted to accomplish, change, or view differently this past year that still didn’t happen? For me, once again, it’s the book that I’ve been planning to create. I’m still talking about it versus taking serious action on it. Sure I’ve collected information and jotted down chapter ideas, but I haven’t truly blocked the time to make it happen.
For you, it may be those stubborn 10 pounds that are hanging around, or maybe you’re still in partnership with someone who doesn’t bring you joy. Or, maybe you still haven’t ditched that client who, let’s be honest, ends up costing you money with the constant demands.
So, here’s what I really want you to ask yourself: Is this something I really, truly want? Or is it just a “should”? Because if it really is a want, what steps, strategies or support do you need to put in place for 2024 to set yourself up for success?
If this isn’t something you genuinely want, then it’s time to accept that and quit beating yourself up. Make 2024 the year you let “it” go. For me, I know the book still is a burning desire, so in 2024, I need to create a system, get a partner to hold me accountable, and ask for help in getting the information organized. On the other hand, when it comes to my upper arm flags, I think it’s time to simply let them wave. Because you know what? I’ve been talking about getting Linda Hamilton Terminator arms since that movie came out nearly thirty years ago. Time for some self-acceptance — wave on and shut-up about it — both to my girlfriends when we’re together wasting time comparing body parts AND to myself when trying on sleeveless tops.