It’s that time of year, time to reflect – NOT beat yourself up and acknowledge what went well and celebrate it, and look at what maybe didn’t go to plan and learn from it.
I reviewed my 2016 goals the other day, and do you know what I did not achieve ANY of them. Some were unrealistic, some were just plain ridiculous.
My initial reaction was to feel disappointment, to beat myself up (as usual) but as the frustration faded, what did emerge was a recognition that actually 2016 had been really amazing. I had not achieved my original goals, but I had achieved a great deal, and I was and am so much happier. So as this time presents itself take some time to celebrate the small stuff, acknowledge and review the learning and let go of the inner stuff to leave behind, here are a few suggestions:
As much as I hate to admit it, there were some people I dealt with in 2016 that I was angry at, even months after I dealt with them. So I decided to try a different approach, and replace the grudge with some gratitude.
It started out with ‘I’m grateful for _____, even though I don’t know why.’ The more I said this, the happier I felt. Sometimes the why became evident.
I absolutely know that all my issues will not be gone at the end of any year, I’d rather be grateful than grudging.
Making decisions slowly can be a form of slow torture. Usually, if I let a decision sit, it’s because I don’t want to do something, and am trying to find a way to make myself OK with it. Or I want it, but feel guilty about wanting it.
Either way, it’s really uncomfortable. I know that the more successful a person is, the more likely it is that they make quick decisions. So I’m choosing to be decisive moving into 2017. Will I regret some decisions made quickly? Possibly. But the emotional energy I’ll gain by not agonising will pay off.
3) The should have moment
There is very little good that can be said about should. I find that most shoulds are a way of letting myself off the hook; for example, by saying ‘I should be doing that.’ In other words, I know that’s a good idea, I’ve put a moral obligation on myself, and it’s only a matter of time before it happens.
If it’s something you really don’t want to do, consider that instead of saying ‘I should be doing that’ try saying ‘I’m choosing not to do that right now.’ Make a decision that now is not the time to give yourself another should.
Guilt is an emotional sign that I’ve done something that I knew at the time was wrong. While it’s useful in the moment, it’s actually damaging long-term. It’s the old idea ‘I can do something wrong as long as I feel guilty about it afterwards.’ That’s because by punishing myself with guilt, I’m ‘making up’ for the thing I did wrong.
Except that I’m not. If I did something wrong, there may be actions I need to take to clean that up. But holding on to guilt just re-affirms that I’m a person who should feel guilty. I’d rather think, moving forward, that I’m a person who does the right thing.
The outer stuff to leave behind:
5) Old notebooks
I love taking notes, and writing my ‘aha moments’ when I’m attending a mastermind with my coach and colleagues. It’s great to review these when I get home!
But later? These notebooks rarely contain ideas worth looking at a year or two after I’ve written in them. I’ve moved on, and the ‘aha moments’ are now familiar thoughts. As much as it can be painful to throw out an old journal or notebook, if I’m not going to look at it again, I’m getting rid of it. (As I write this, I actually did this yesterday to make sure I could, before I suggested it to you!)
6) Clothes that don’t delight me anymore, or never did
My clothing tastes have changed over the years. As I’ve changed my business brand, my personal brand has evolved. Now until recently I’ve had clothes in my closet that, while they’re certainly still stylish and have worn left in them, no longer reflect me. Every time I open my closet, if those clothes were still in there – they haunt me.
So charity shop those clothes – someone will love them.
7) Clients that are exhausting
When you’re first starting your business, admit it – you’ll take anyone who wants to work with and who has a pulse. We’ve all done it. As I evolved the business, my confidence and real understanding of how there should be a great “fit” I found that the tough clients weren’t worth the energy that it took to keep them happy. I made a conscious decision to take clients that I could truly see possibilities for. When I understood this – everything became much easier.
If you have a client that makes you cringe, every time you see their name on your calendar, it’s time to let that client go. Don’t offer a renewal option, or give them the name of someone who you tell them ‘can serve them better’. It’s scary, but really liberating.
As I write this on December 30th 2016 I wish you all a brilliant 2016.
Lets talk in 2017 …