I can be very hard on myself and focus just on the unfinished "to do" list. I will often berate myself for being too slow, incompetent, distracted or discouraged. I have just started to realize that all this negativity is short-sighted, often unfounded and never motivating. So here is what I have been doing over the past few days to prepare myself for 2016. If you'd like to join me, I encourage you to take the following steps:
1) Celebrate the successes of 2015. First, recall the success, the joys and the accomplishments of 2015 and write them down where you can see them and validate them. Congratulate yourself on the effort you put forth, the positive actions accomplished and the personal growth that was attained. "Good job!", "Well done." is much more motivating and helpful to our future growth then a kick in the shins.
2) Decide how you can build on previous success. What can you learn about subjects that matter to you? How would you like to continue to improve your character, skills, and grow as a person. As Jim Rohn was known to say, "If you want more, become more".
4) Pray about and set down specific timelines for when certain goals will be reached, and what that success will look like in your personal life. Envisioning the future in a clear and visual way engages the brain in a powerful way. Your brain will work with you to help you "see" or attract to yourself what will aid you in reaching those goals. Creating a vision board, or dream board, can be a powerful way to see your future in living color each day to renew this image and where you are headed.
5) Take the time to create the steps that will help you reach your goal. Make your steps reasonable and success producing. In other words, deciding to exercise for 10 minutes each morning may be more achievable than saying you will run for 45 minutes three times a week when you have not been running. Drinking a green smoothie for breakfast each day, is a simple, yet powerful change to your nutritional intake then saying you will never eat sweets again. Start small, succeed, recognize your success with a "well done" and let this accomplishment, however small, motivate you to take the next good step. Success is motivating.
Few lives are changed by the fast and furious approach, the 180 degree screeching of tires and black rubber skid marks in the rearview mirror. Most of us will find that gradual changes, strung together consistently, will bring us to greater success. Remember The Compound Effect, by Darren Hardy? (Search Darren on my blog for several previous posts on this topic, and valuable resources.) The truth is that "small, seemingly insignificant, moment to moment choices, done consistently lead to big results", either positive or negative. The beauty is, you get to choose.
Check out the resources from the Oola guys on this topic. I love their approach and balancing the 7 F's of our lives. This could be a great structure to help you choose one improvement in each area of your life.
What do you want your life to look like at the end of 2016? Map it out so you arrive at the destination you desire. That way you won't get lost, misdirected, waste precious time or simply give up along the way.
Wishing you the best year yet! Happy New Year!