It’s just about that time, where we reflect and take stock of the year. The good, bad and inevitable regrets — the dreaded would’ve, could’ve, should’ves.
It’s so easy to create a loop of negative thoughts and/or skip over any negative feelings and focus on next year, which will be completely different, right?!? You know what they say about the definition of insanity…
I used to make a laundry list of resolutions, wouldn’t make much progress and then feel deflated at the end of the year. It was a vicious cycle. A few years I replaced resolutions with new practices that helped me make meaningful progress and feel really good about myself and the year.
Here are the practices I’ve adopted and have set me up for success in achieving my goals.
Give yourself some time and space
One of the biggest takeaways from reading Glennon Doyle’s Untamed is the power of stillness. It’s the simplest to understand and the most daunting to practice. When we give ourselves time and space, amazing things happen. We’re able to confront our thoughts, feelings and reality, which can be scary and life-changing. And guess what — we always know the answer to our deepest questions. We just need to give ourselves the space to surface them.
Start with a baby step — schedule 30 min a week to meditate or journal on a specific topic or something high level like “what’s top of mind for me” and see where it leads you.
During your newfound “me” time, you can journal what you’re grateful for, what went well and all your achievements this year. Dig a layer deeper and ask yourself why those things are important to you, what do they really mean? Are they serving you well?
It’s important to celebrate your major achievements in a big way. When a client lands an amazing job, my first question is how do you plan to celebrate? The typical answer is they haven’t given it much thought. I then ask how they’ve celebrated other accomplishments and there’s usually a very nice dinner or bottle of champagne involved, but not much beyond that.
When you celebrate, you’re telling your brain that you have succeeded and that you like this experience and want more of it.
Celebrating elevates chemicals like endorphins and dopamine, which help drive positive outcomes. You’re cultivating a positive mindset, which helps you focus on more positive things, which leads to more wins.
When you achieve milestones, celebrate them. It can be as simple as patting yourself on the back, jumping up and down or going to your favorite restaurant. When it’s something major, do or buy something special for yourself. Make sure you commemorate you and your accomplishment. Be proud of and happy for yourself! You deserve it!
Celebrating mistakes and failures is also impactful. A valuable exercise is to list all your mistakes and failures over the year.
How did they impact you? What did you learn from them? What can you do to prevent similar mistakes? Did they lead to new ideas or better outcomes? And how can you respond differently to the next mistake or failure you make?
This exercise helps us see that we can overcome obstacles and difficult situations. They are opportunities for us to learn and grow. And you’ll recognize growth when you start to embrace challenges and bounce back from failure faster each time.
Set an intention
I now practice more intentionality. I create an intention for the year, each month and each week. This has helped me focus on the things that I care most about, stay focused, be in the present moment and feel successful. Success for me means that I’m living my purpose by helping others, continuously learning and growing and accepting and loving myself more and more (which is no small feat).
This practice has helped increase my mindfulness, which keeps me centered and focused. Not surprisingly, I’ve been able to accomplish a lot more!
Set one major goal
Instead of the laundry list, pick one major goal. Then break that into actionable steps, make the first one easy and do it immediately. There’s no bigger motivator than seeing (and celebrating) progress!
It also creates a halo effect. You’ll most likely achieve your goal in a few months and then can select another one. So you’ll have 2 or 3 major victories at the end of the year, which might be more than usual. This practice has side effects — you start to feel good about yourself and start to enjoy your professional and personal life a lot more!
Create your new story
Another helpful exercise is to write 2 stories: your current and future story. Write about your current situation, what you like and dislike. You can include things about your family, home, work, friends, interests, etc.
Then think about what you would like your life to look and feel like at the end of 2022. You can list specific things you want to have and achieve, but focus more on how you’re able to show up at work and at home, how you want to feel at the end of each day, your contributions and so on.
Print and keep it somewhere where you can read it often. This helps shape our subconscious and conscious thoughts and reinforces our belief in ourselves and a better life. The more we believe in our story, the faster it will be realized.
Establishing a practice of stillness and introspectiveness can help surface your key learnings and achievements of the past year as well as set you up for a more mindful and meaningful new year.
Is your big 2022 goal to make a strategic career move? And land a job where you’ll feel fulfilled, realize your potential and get the compensation you deserve?
If so, then watch our video and book a session with one of our job strategists. We’re excited to talk about your career goals!