The year has come to an end, and begun anew. Some would say finally. Some would say, all too quickly. But here we are faced with decisions about what tomorrow, and the next year bring. How do we find the way forward? How do we change who we are and what we are from time to time? We look inside.
Consider how many mis-steps we make every year. Now, imagine if we could learn from these and avoid repeating all of them. And, it is not just a matter of our mis-steps. It is also the myriad of things we have tried along the way that did not work out as we had hoped. Some things we saw other people do. Some things we just tried on a whim…
But, we should not sell ourselves too short. Remember that there were things we tried that worked out well. So, how do we apply this gained knowledge to the year ahead?
After doing this for a few years, our lives should be pretty spectacular! Right?
Since we are learning so much each year we live, why not put some of it to good use? Sadly, we do not change our behaviors very much from one year to the next. But, we can commit making this year something different.
Strategies for applying the lessons from our the past to our future:
1. Review the last year.
- What did we learn, both positive and negative?
- What mistakes did we make?
- What were our biggest wins?
- Is there a pattern to any of our mistakes?
- Can we see that many of our challenges are caused by committing the same mistakes over and over, year after year?
- What about family and friends?
- What challenges did they face?
- What were their successes?
- What can we learn from them?
- Take the best and the worst from the past and learn from them.
- Make use of that information to enhance your life.
2. Find better alternatives to ineffective actions.
- Perhaps procrastination has been a big issue for us.
- Maybe tardiness is dragging us down.
- What changes can we make in the coming year to make the biggest impact?
3. Claim behaviors that support success.
- Perhaps lost 25 pounds, or read more books this year than usual.
- These are behaviors that you probably want to repeat.
4. Get some new habits.
- Choose habits that will counteract ineffective behaviors and ensure positive behaviors occur more frequently.
- Here are a few examples:
- Start taking immediate action when you know something needs to be done.
- Remind yourself of the pain procrastination has caused you in the past and imagine how amazing it will feel to complete the task on time.
- Move your alarm on the other side of the room so you will be forced to get out of bed.
- Try setting two alarms. I wear a FitBit to track my sleep and other activities. But, it also has an alarm that buzzes on my wrist which is hard to ignore.
- Prep for the next day before turning in. This includes choosing your clothes.
- Commit to leaving the house in plenty of time.
- Significant other: Commit to spending 15 minutes each day doing something nice for your significant other. Remind yourself of what you love about them.
- Lost a few pounds: Continue making healthy food choices and working out several times each week.
5. Check yourself.
- If we are not diligent, we will quickly slide back into our old patterns of behavior.
- Change is challenging, and you can expect to face a lot of internal resistance.
- Avoid being too hard on yourself when you slip up.
- Just promise to double down your efforts going forward!
6. Celebrate the wins.
- When we can learn to apply what we have learned from last year, we can expect some great things to happen.
- Appreciate these things and be proud of yourself.
- This is the best way to ensure good things will keep happening.
- Reinforce your behavior by feeling good about yourself and your successes.
We have all faced some tough times in the past. Take advantage of those challenges! Learn from them.
We have each had some great times, as well. Make a point to repeat these in the future.
Our past is the key to our future.
Take what you have learned and leverage that experience going forward.
It would be a shame to repeat all of our same mistakes in the future.
We can have the best year of our live, but not if we fail to learn from our past experiences.
Our results have lessons to teach us.
Are you paying attention?
What’s the word this year?
See also: 2017