I used to be the kind of person that spent the entire week between Christmas and New Year’s making plans. I developed elaborate resolution lists. Since I am Type-A, I would make charts and lists trying to create my best self for the new year. Those resolutions and plans were usually pretty great. However, I missed out on one of the most important part, looking back. Any good business person will tell you that you have to look at your mistakes and challenges before moving forward. That is exactly what I intend to do.
Year in Review:
I started this tradition last year and it is one of my favorites. Both my husband and I fill it out a simple sheet on our own. Right before midnight on December 31st, we pop a bottle of bubbly and share. It’s such a great way to share what we loved most about each year. We also share our challenges along with the things we look forward to for the new year. Some of our answers have been silly and fun, but we always have a good time exchanging stories from the year including our favorite moments. This year I asked my daughter to share a few of her favorites and added them to my list. I plan to keep each year in a binder so that we can look back on it each year for fun and memories. You can create your own, but we typically use this template which can be downloaded for free!
Get a Planner:
You all know that I am obsessed with Erin Condren Planners, but this is a planner of a different kind. You don’t have to be a business owner or entrepreneur to benefit from looking back at your successes and failures over the past year. Believe me, it can be eye-opening. I am working with this planner by Amber McCue called Fresh Start, which you can download here. While fairly robust, this planner really asks you some tough questions about your year. It was so nice to spend the time to reflect on the things I have accomplished (like launching my own blog) and the things that I didn’t feel so hot about (missing some time with family). Even though there are some tough questions to answer, it is a great tool to put you on the right track for next year. For example, since I felt like I didn’t get enough family time, I am now making that my top priority for 2018. Without that information, I would still be making lists, just maybe not the ones with the priorities in the right order.
Look Before You Leap:
With all of the excitement around the fresh start in a new year, people tend to forget this last week as a way to tidy up loose ends. I love to spend this time reaching out to friends I haven’t spoken to and spending time with me dearest friends and close family. Think carefully about where you have been spending your time, and more importantly about where you want to be spending your time. If those two answers don’t jive, then it’s time to re-prioritize those places that aren’t on your “most important” list. It may be time to let friendships, jobs, committees, or other obligations go. This can be extremely tough especially when people have certain expectations of you. Look at your time the way you would any budget. Spending it in the wrong places only leads to more unnecessary stress.
I encourage you to spend the last moments of the new year in reflection and thanksgiving. Give yourself a “check up” and find out how you can take that information into 2018 and be the best you can be. Whether it be love, friendship, money, health, or education you seek, do not forget to reward your hard work, no matter how seemingly insignificant, over the past 365 days. Happy New Year to you!
This post was originally published on January 1, 2017