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A powerful way to start 2018!

To me, there is nothing more exciting than the beginning of a New Year.

A clean slate with the possibility of a major DO-OVER from the previous year.

Yet there is also nothing so disheartening as to watch the months go by without much changing in your life.

So years ago, I created a ritual to start the new year powerfully by “cleaning up” some of my regrets and distractions from the previous year, acknowledging all that I did accomplish and setting my intentions for the year to come.

To me, it’s the perfect way to start each New Year. Here is how I do it if you think you’d like to give it a try.

Get a journal or notebook that you can keep handy throughout the year (you will want to look at this often) and capture:


Top 25 Accomplishments from the Previous Year.   

Sometimes I capture these throughout the year when I think of them, but the best thing for me is to look at my wall calendar where most significant events are captured.

Items that you’ve tracked may include workshops attended, salary increases, weight loss, personal and professional goals accomplished, new activities, awards or recognition received.

But don’t forget things like new positive habits picked up, bad habits eliminated, relationships renewed or strengthened. If you’re not too hard on yourself, you’ll find 25 easy to come up with.


Top 10 Distractions from the Previous Year.

This is a tough one. Mostly because we don’t necessarily want to acknowledge what distracted us from our goals. (Also, this list is only pertinent if you have well-defined goals.)

But this is also one of the most valuable exercises because it is a great reminder for the year ahead to not let the same thing distract you again.

Ever since I started my business, many opportunities come my way. I am very grateful for these and in the beginning, when I was unclear about the direction of my business, I went down the path of quite a few opportunities that didn’t turn out to be right for me. I failed to evaluate them properly from the beginning.

When these showed up on my list of distractions a couple years in a row (they all looked different at the time!) it was a huge lesson staring me in the face – and I got much better about letting erroneous opportunities take me off course.

So capture your distractions. These may include other people, worries, conflicting priorities, lack of organization, or lack of boundaries.


Top 10 Goals for the New Year.

This should be fun to complete. This is your time to plan the next year and what you want on your list of accomplishments at the end of it.

This is not the time to beat yourself up over everything you didn’t complete last year. Let that stuff go. Resist putting it on your list again unless it’s something you really want to do.

Is there anything you’ve been wanting to do for the longest time? For me, it was skiing. For YEARS, I’d been saying I wanted to ski. Living in the Northeast, I figured I’d better find a way to enjoy the winter.

One year, I thought to myself, “Self, you’ve only got one more month to make it a reality this year”. I put the intention out there to find someone to ski with and within the hour a girlfriend of mine invited me skiing. I spent a few days in Holiday Valley right before the holidays and I loved it.

So besides your professional goals (salary, new job, more clients, etc.) and personal goals (lose weight, more travel, etc.) don’t forget some PLAY goals.

And I’m a big proponent of the goals being specific and measurable. And realistic…for you.

Then do you know the next step? Create some momentum around your goals by getting into immediate action. On January 2, I met with my Mastermind Group and shared my goals for the year. I’ve been in action ever since!

There is power in momentum. There is also power in speaking your commitment. If there is something you’ve been wanting to do for a long time and haven’t spoken it to anyone – that is one indication that it will go undone again.

Next, find an accountability partner, a coach, or a friend to share your goal with. And then tell them how you like to be supported. A gentle word of encouragement, a friendly email reminder, more regimented support? Everyone is different so help them help you!

Given your specific obligations and circumstances, these suggestions may not work for you as I’ve described them. But the underlying principle remains the same. It’s up to you to make sure the holidays are what you want them and need them to be.

Happy New Year!