It is time to say goodbye to 2013 and look forward to the new year. I can’t tell you why but I just feel like 2014 will be a better year. This is a perfect time to take a moment to reflect on our successes and our near misses.
What are the three things that you are most proud of that happened in your life this year – the things for which you are most grateful? Add to those thoughts the one thing you will choose to handle differently in the future. What did you learn from each of them? It is often said that we learn more from our challenges than our successes. That may be true, however, everything we do has an inherent lesson in it. I believe that we have a greater chance for personal growth when we recognize and build on the lessons we learned from the successes we experienced. It helps to reassure us that we are capable of personal change. Thus, the three positives and one growth opportunity ratio makes sense to me. When you think about it, if each of us improved in just one area during the upcoming year the world would be an even better place. I believe in a focused approach to improvement. Choosing one thing to improve upon for the new year is doable. Less is more – it allows us to grow with confidence and ease. This type of year end review may seem counterintuitive but I believe it offers a stronger approach to self improvement.
When we take the time to reflect back on the year it is not for the purpose of beating ourselves up with thoughts of ‘I should have…’ but rather with thoughts of ‘the next time I intend to …’ The former statement basically causes us to find fault with ourselves but the later encourages us to turn the kaleidoscope ever so slightly and see the beauty in the fact that we survived the challenges as they were presented and learned from them. It also forces us to take the time to pat ourselves on the back for the lessons learned. A habit few of us practice on a regular basis. The year 2013 had significant challenges for many of us and yet we are able to say to ourselves that we made it through in one piece – we survived – and are as a result both stronger and wiser.
Before you go to bed tonight think about the three things for which you are most grateful and the one growth area you are willing to commit to in 2014. Remind yourself to revisit them on a weekly basis throughout the year. The repetition of thought/intention is important since the Universe delivers to us what is foremost in our thinking. Next year at this time you will be amazed at your feelings of even greater strength and self confidence.
As a post script I wanted to add that I am grateful this year to the thousands of readers of my blogs and the feedback I have received along the way. In my small way I believe I am offering ‘food for thought’ specifically on the topics of loss, grief, and lessons learned. The greatest lesson of all, of course, is that ‘All is as it should be,’ which allows us to face the challenges presented in our lives with a greater sense of confidence and assurance.
Happy New Year!