I sat down with my new goal planner (Powersheets from Cultivate What Matters) and I instantly turned into a ruthless self-critique.
“Well, this didn’t go as well as I planned.” - I thought when looking through all the “categories” of my life from health to finances. The cherry on top was, when I had to grade myself from 1 to 10… You can guess, no category made it to level 10.
Then I stopped myself.
Does self-reflection and year planning have to feel this depressing?
Heck no! It should be something that excites you and make you want to get back to work on the first week of January.
So instead of going deeper in the goal planner (which I still find important and will fill out in the next couple of days), I focused on ending my year positively.
In 3 steps that I’m going to show you in this post.
#1 - SAY: I’M GRATEFUL FOR...
To overcome self-doubt and any negative thought, first, I listed all the people, moments and possessions that I’m grateful for. I encourage you to do the same for three reasons.
IT MAKES YOU FEEL HAPPIER AND MORE HOPEFUL
First, recalling your favorite memories makes you feel happier.
Don’t believe me? Go through all the news from last year… pretty bad, ey? Now go and read this article that lists 100 positive news from 2018. I bet you feel much better.
We must equip ourselves with positivity, because in general we need 5 times more positive impact to balance out one negative news. So bulk up with your happiest memories from 2018.
YOU’LL KNOW WHAT YOU REALLY NEED
Second, you’ll see clearly what you really need for your happiness and what you don’t, even if society tries to force the opposite message on you.
In our modern world, we often think that the next shiny object will make us more content but the truth is, a new dress won’t make you happier. On the other hand, a great date, a compliment or stronger confidence will do.
From all our possessions, our new home made me the happiest. And it’s not even ours, we’re renting it. Our last home was a dark, old house from the early 80s with a dated kitchen practically deep-fried by the previous tenant. Now at the end of the year, I’m grateful for all the natural light, cleanness and cozyness we got in our new place. This also helped me learn, what turns a house into a home for us, and what we must look for when we decide to move again.
I also appreciated my friends, the old ones from Hungary and the new ones here in Canada. It’s a wonder that after 6 years, I can still call old friends and have meaningful conversations, go on a trip to Rome together or work together while thousands of miles separate us. It’s also a wonder that I can have great Canadian friends and a business partner who are so different than me and still feel so similar.
Did you have these experiences in 2018? Write them down!
YOU’LL KNOW WHAT TO REPEAT NEXT YEAR
Third, you’ll know what to repeat and keep improving the next year.
For example, I really appreciate every moment I could spend in nature or travelling in 2018 because these moments inspired me and triggered new, creative ideas. So I definitely want to do this the next year.
What about you? What do you want to repeat or keep improving?
#2 - SAY: I’M PROUD OF…
It’s also easy to beat up ourselves and think that we haven’t reached everything.
So I took some time to celebrate my small victories. Every big goal consists of small steps and the willingness to go through them. If you don’t appreciate these small victories, how would you remember to celebrate the big ones. By the time you reach them, every goal seems like an easy no-brainer.
This year, I’m most proud of my consistency with this blog. I’d never been able to create weekly blog content for longer than a month. But since June, my blog posts go out every week and this makes me more motivated to improve my skills and process.
What are you the most proud of? Did you break a bad habit or built a new good one in 2018? Did you reach a goal (even a tiny one) that felt really good? Write them down.
#3 - SAY: I CAN ALWAYS DO SOMETHING
Last but not least: there are cases when you feel trapped by self-doubt, fear or limits in your current abilities.
Know that there’s always something that you can do. Maybe just small steps but it’s in your hand. YOU can make your life better in the next year.
This can feel empowering and frightening at the same time.
If you are in the frightened camp, no worries. Your next action don’t have to be a life altering, major jump into the unknown. It can be a tiny change that - over time - will have big impact on your life. For example: keeping a business book on your night stand instead of the phone so you learn more about business and less about your friends’ Facebook Life.
Now that I’m successfully out of the “end-of-the-year-self-critique pithole”, just one thing left to say: Happy Holidays to all of you!
Enjoy the next few days: spend lots of times with those who matter to you the most, fill up with lots of cookies and eggnog and we’ll see each other next week. 😉