As the close of another year is approaching, many of us begin to list the projects that we didn't accomplish with regret. It is not uncommon that we focus on what we haven't accomplished.
This year we are suggesting you do something different before December is over. Allow yourself to be fully present and close out this year satisfied with your successes. This process may take a couple of hours or a weekend. Give yourself permission and take the time that feels right for you.
Start by making a list of all the efforts or relationships you began, whether 90% completed or fully completed.
You can put them into categories to organize your thinking such as, renewing commitments to your health routine, increasing your phone call frequency with grandparents or relatives, personal lifestyle changes, enriching your career with new skills, developing new hobbies, initiating a house de-clutter plan, joining fresh professional affiliations, or even improving your routine to walk the dog more. For each of your projects, evaluate the following elements:
- What was your mood when you began the project, excited, eager, and apprehensive?
- What pain did you intend on decreasing for yourself or someone else? Do you have measurable results?
- Was there a tangible financial gain by pursuing your efforts such as, less ATM fees for your bank account or reduced expenditures for gasoline by consolidating car trips?
- As you made progress, did you feel bold, confident, self-assured, or gutsy?
- Did each step, even if you stumbled or made a mistake, re-enforce your belief of how small successes can give you cause to celebrate?
- What emotions kept you going, determination, conviction, courageousness, brazenness, perhaps defiance?
- Last, did your endeavors change your outlook from striving to be successful to 'I can be successful at anything"?
With the results from the questions above, you will be channeling your energies into positive processes instead of dwelling on what could have gone wrong. Positive beliefs affect both your conscious and unconscious thought activity and feelings of self respect. Additionally, when others are involved in your efforts you can celebrate your satisfaction together, often cementing relationships for years.
For the coming year and the satisfaction you need, use the same questioning technique here to:
- Be precise in what you want your outcomes to be and expected steps for measuring achievement.
- Document each target outcome so that other items don't creep into your list making it impossible to achieve.
- Set realistic time frames for achievement, allowing some downtime for yourself.
- Match the time required for each effort for the rhythm of your lifestyles.
- Identify the outside resources or other people's skills you will need for ultimate success. People are often your greatest assets, use them wisely.
- Develop fallback plans for your pursuits if they become a casualty of unplanned events.
Don't forget to celebrate! Select some reward mechisim for yourself to celebrate when you have achieved even the smallest step. Plan celebrations and appreciation awards to spotlight others who have supported you in your efforts. Our life's journey is about what matters to us and who we care about along the way.
If you want to close each year with more satisfaction and less regret, ask yourself:
- In the past, where have you let others define goals for you that were not satisfying such as, running a 10k when high impact sports are not really fulfilling for you?
- What emotions do you let derail you in pursuit of achievements, anxiety, anger, jealousy?
- What have been failures or mistakes that have provided the greatest learning for your next set of goals in the coming year?
- How will you form a support group, innovative networking connections or other expert memberships to sustain you in your plans?
- How will you set triggers for yourself to catch negative self-talk, spiraling you into hopelessness?
"As this world was not intended to be a state of any great satisfaction or high enjoyment, so neither was it intended to be a mere scene of unhappiness and sorrow" - Joseph Butler.
Bradley Ann Morgan, PCC
Bradley Morgan is a corporate and ontological coach who served as a hi-tech executive for over 17 years, in companies such as, IBM, Bay Networks, Premysis, and Brocade Communications. Bradley's credentials include a BS from Georgia Tech, a MS from UCLA, a certificate in gerontology from the University of Maryland; and a Professional Coaching Certification (PCC) through the Newfield Network program.
In the telecommunications industry, she developed both domestic and international systems engineering teams for technical expertise and executive level leadership. Bradley is a member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF), American Management Associates (AMA), the American Society on Aging (ASA); and the US Women's Chamber of Commerce.
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