Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me. – Jill Jackson
Here we stand on the precipice of a new year – and what a year it’s been!
You’ve had ups, and downs; successes and failures; wins and losses.
And here at the tail end of the year, how are you looking back over it all?
With pride? Regret? Wistfulness?
And how are you looking at next year?
With hope, anticipation, or resignation?
It’s so normal to have a jumbled up combination of all these thoughts and feelings: like most of us, your year was probably a combination of highs and lows.
No matter how your year went, whatever your mindset about this year as it closes, as well as the year to come, do pay close attention to your thoughts and beliefs about your experience.
Not to shame or judge or necessarily change your beliefs, but to notice and be mindful: what are your emotions and thoughts telling you about what is important to you?
Because underneath your beliefs is a hidden gem: your values.
The key to a better next year: no affirmations required
Understanding what’s important to you – what you value – is the key to crafting a live of purpose and meaning: this year, and next and the next.
It’s a critical element to being intentional in what you create in your work and life.
Because by knowing what you value will help you create more of it.
I’m not talking about manifesting via mantras or daily affirmations; nor am I suggesting that magical unicorns and rainbows will start taking up space in your office cube (unless you are especially exceptional).
But you are more likely to get what you want if you know what it is.
Underneath each of your experiences this past year – the good and the bad – is a value of yours.
Find them and start using them as a GPS or inner north star.
Why New Year’s resolutions don’t work (and what does)
So, what about New Year’s Resolutions?
I haven’t made one in years.
That doesn’t mean I suggest flying by the seat of your pants instead. Trust me, I’m a planner to the bone.
Here’s the deal: who do you know who actually is still following their New Year’s resolutions in July?
Actually, do you ever hear much about anyone’s resolutions past January 15th, for that matter?
The problem with resolutions is this: they tend to be focused on long term fixed generic outcomes without a lot of specificity or intermediary steps.
Which tends to lead to failure, the type of failure that leaves you depleted and discouraged.
So instead of resolutions, use last year’s successes and failures to glean the lessons and insights of this year: lessons which you can apply towards what you want to create in the coming year, and the specificity it takes to make it real.
(I walked people through this exact process during last year’s virtual mini-retreat. If you missed it, you can still access the recordings here.)
Peace starts with you
What I know is that the source of all true and real answers, resides inside you.
Not out “there”, not in other people’s opinions, judgements and evaluations.
Most of us spend our lives looking for the “right” answer, stumbling around, looking for an expert to tell us what to do.
When the best, truest answer resides inside us, and in our own lived experience.
Start tuning your ear to your own wisdom: then you’ll always be able to find the truest answer for yourself.
And by following your own truths, you’ll never go wrong.
In the Comments below, let me know if you set resolutions. How have they worked (or not) for you? Let us know too what lessons are you taking away from this year? How will you use those insights in planning for the coming year?
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Editor’s note: This post was originally published in December 2015 and has been updated for content and relevancy.
Photo credit: iStockPhoto
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