Time For Anti-Resolutions!
Did you have a shit year? Cause I think a lot of us have had a shit year. And it is THAT time of year now - the time for revisiting, relinquishing the truth to ourselves, and deciding to step forward into something greater. (My Gods, this year has flown by!)
Every year when it gets to be the last few weeks of December, I start to think about New Year’s Resolutions. But the fact is, I never set them. And I don’t set them because, inevitably, I will fall flat on my face trying to keep up with them.
Instead, I have to clear my emotional junk from the year before. Because if you can do that, then you can step forward into the year ahead with a clean slate to win it. You can be ready to step out into even more greatness than you had last year.
Want to know how I do it?
I pull out my Google calendar, or my phone, and I look back over the last year while I ask myself these questions.
Really, you don’t need to use a Google calendar, or any kind of smartphone calendar system to get this to work for you. You can do this on your own by memory, or by using a paper calendar that you’ve written all your goodies on over the last year.
But the point is to somehow review, release, and then redesign. That’s how you start to get the win.
And here are the three questions that can help you do just that.
Question 1: What have you accomplished?
If you look back over the last year, even if you think you haven’t, you’ve accomplished something. Whether that’s anything from keeping the floors swept to writing a book or coaching a Fortune 500 business Client. Regardless of how big or small, you’ve achieved something over the past 365 days.
Now is the time to write it down. I want you to take a pen and piece of paper - not a Google Doc or an email draft or a Onenote or any of that - a physical piece of paper and a pen - and write it down. Why? Because writing things down externalizes them, makes them concrete, and more clear. And that’s the point. You’ll see another reason it’s important soon.
I want you to be proud of these things. Even if it means that you’re all alone standing in front of your floor-length mirror encouraging yourself, just do it. Be proud of what you’ve managed to make happen over the past year.
(If you don’t have someone to cheer you on, post it over at #hearthside, or in the comments below. I’ll be happy to cheer you on!)
Question 2: What mistakes have you made? And what can you learn from them?
Now, I know this might seem counter-intuitive. But there’s a specific design as to why you go through the questions in this order, so bear with me.
What mistakes have you made? What have you given up on? What things have you put by the wayside or procrastinated on? And why? What can you learn from that?
For me, I know that I have been promising to write my second book for a while. This is difficult for me to say, but I just lost passion for a while. I had way too many projects going on, and I let myself get bogged down in the details. I made plan after plan, and tried doing all the things. And frankly, I just spread myself way too thin. I have no trouble admitting it.
Honestly, when you’ve made the mistake, it’s easy to beat yourself up over it. But later, when you review at the end of the year, time has sort of removed the mistake by a short distance. So its easier to look at it objectively, and say, “Well … I fucked that one up.” And its less painful. Which is a good thing! It shows you’re willing to forgive yourself for the oopses.
So review, find your mistakes, your let-downs, your accidental ball-drops, and write them down. And then write down something you can learn from that. Even if all you learn is, “I need to learn to say ‘no’ more,” or, “I need to focus more on my budget,” or, “I need to develop some follow-through skills …” Whatever it is, no matter how big or small, a lesson is a lesson. And as long as you learn from your mistakes, you're progressing forward in leaps and bounds compared to the rest of society.
Question 3: What are you willing to release?
Finally, what are you willing to release? What projects or ideas just didn’t pan out? And which ones would be worth NOT pursuing in the new year?
Maybe you meant to complete a project, but it just doesn’t align with who you are anymore. This is another reason that I've not published my second book. The fact is: the one I have written and ready to go may never be published because I don't really think the material is worth sharing. That happens.
People grow and change. Even the smallest amount of growth can mean you outgrow one of your pet projects. And it’s okay to let that be a thing. There really are no project police coming to arrest you for not manifesting every last thing on your Vision Board!
The real point is: are you willing to let some things go?
Take it to the internal level, too. We all go through stuff - the death of a loved one, the incomplete “honey do” list, the lack of reading because we feel like we don’t have time. All those things are events that, even when we may not have control over them, we feel responsible for. But you can’t hold yourself responsible for everything. You’re one human, and it’s okay to be one human.
Are you willing to drop those things that don’t align with who you are anymore? Can you find the lesson in what you may have messed up over the last year? It’s okay that this might be a difficult process, and you might even grieve some projects - and that’s okay. Be with that emotion until it breaks over into a new day of sunshine. I promise it won’t last forever as long as you allow yourself to move through the process.
It might’ve been an amazing year, or the worst year of your life so far. But if you learn from your mistakes, forgive yourself, and celebrate your successes, you’re bound to step into the New Year with a clear head, ready to take on what comes your way. What's more, redesigning the next year with your heart at the center of all you are, do, and accomplish becomes a lot easier.
May this coming year be your best fucking year ever!
Peace, blessed be, and namaste!