We wrap up each year with an exercise that puts our life and business in perspective. After almost twenty years, it’s become a cherished tradition. Here’s how it works. Purchase a spiral-bound, lined journal with enough paper to last for years. Set up the following categories.
1. What I accomplished this year:
Use your Outlook or day planner to trigger memories and get some perspective on the past 365 days. Record your wins, large and small. Give yourself a big helping of “attaboys” and “attagirls.” You deserve it.
2. What I’m grateful for:
Everything counts, from keeping fit to improved relationships with family, clients, or colleagues. You’ll be amazed how many good things came your way or that you created.
3. What I forgive myself and others for
: Shine the light on bothersome issues and establish goals for self-improvement. Who couldn’t use more empathy, less anger, or better communication?
4. What I want to eliminate
: Since you’re warmed up with forgiveness, take the next step. Decide to toss unproductive habits, relationships and behaviors into the New Year’s dustbin.
5. What I want for next year and what I’m willing to do to make it happen
: Make these goals realistic and achievable. But include some that force you to stretch. Goals are easier to achieve if you declare, visualize and focus on them.
We do this exercise the last week of the year. To spark your imagination (and for laughs) start by reading last year’s entries. Then begin filling out the five categories-- but leave some space. Reflect on what you wrote, revisit your entries over a few days, and fill in what’s missing. The exercise makes you realize what a rich life you lead and how to move forward.
This is our gift to you, dear clients and readers. We wish for you a new year of prosperity, peace and fulfillment. And thanks to so many of you for making our lives satisfying, and our brief journey on this planet joyful.