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Preparing For Your Best Year Yet

| | Personal Leadership

Preparing For Your Best Year Yet post image

As the year comes to a close you may be scrambling to get just a few more things done and tie up loose ends. You may be working hard to finish up that big project, achieve an important goal, or meet a deadline. Or you may be winding down from work and focusing on your family and holiday festivities.

Whatever you are doing right now it can likely be characterized for most of us with one word – busy!

Yet despite the busyness, there is also something about ending a year that can bring a lot of hope and freedom. Even if you don’t finish everything you planned in 2012, when the new-year rings in, you will once again have the gift of a fresh start. December 31st is a definitive finish line.  Whatever is done is done and whatever isn’t done is behind you now.  You get to start the year with a clean slate, with at least a glimmer of hope that next year could be different and perhaps even better.  You may even believe it could be your best year yet.

What will it take for next year to be your best year yet?

I suggest that it begins with completing the year in a way that actually leaves you with that clean slate promised, but all too often not delivered, with the turning of the clocks to a new year.

As I work through my own personal process for ending this year in a way that prepares me for the next, I started to see that there are lists other than my goals, objectives or “to do” lists to consider.  There are the “wished I would have done” list, or the “planned to, but didn’t”, or “hoped for, but didn’t materialize”, etc. lists.  Actually I have never seen this as clearly as I do now thanks to the work I have been doing with my friend and colleague Dana Theus.

Most of us have been trained to reconcile our goals for the year against our actual results.  Some of us actually do it and some of us don’t.  You may feel good or bad about what you see, but for the most part it is an intellectual process.

However, completing the things on those other lists cannot be put behind you quite so intellectually.  If you really want to create that “blank slate” experience – one allows your future to pull you forward rather than be held back by your past, consider you must face the things on these other lists.

Now I am not talking about facing them in a way like stepping before a firing squad.  I am talking about taking the time to  connect with you at the level of your hopes and dreams with compassion and without judgment.  It will likely take some fortitude and perhaps even courage to get present to those incomplete things from the past year.  You might experience some potentially intense feelings underneath, such as disappointment, sadness, anger, blame, shame, etc.

Know that whatever you don’t allow yourself to consciously acknowledge, accept and feel from the previous year will likely hold you back in the next.  The ball may drop on Times Square but do you want to be left trying to move into 2013 with the proverbial chain attached to it?

Take time for your self between now and the end of the year to claim 2012 and declare it complete - all that it was and all that it wasn’t, all that you did do and you did not do, all that you accomplished and all that you did not.  Start preparing now for 2013 to be your best year yet!

Want support preparing and planning for 2013 to be your best year yet?  This year I am working with my friend and colleague Dana Theus to do just that and the preparation I talk about here is part of that work.  Click Here to access a FREE webinar and learn the secret of setting intentions to make 2013 your most productive, least stressful and most joyful year ever. 

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Robyn Stratton-Berkessel   |   20 December 2012   |   Reply

A freeing perspective, Susan, healthy, too. I am reminded of one of the NLP (neuro linguistic programming) presuppositions: “We do the best we can with the resources we have at the time.” It’s a kind of forgiveness strategy. It releases us from the anguished state of “if only…”, “I only wish…. Our access to knowledge, people, information, money, time, changes over time. It’s also a developmental mindset – I have resources today that I did not have a year ago, and most definitely my mother never had. Each experience is a developmental opportunity, and we can direct our attention and intention to make it better not only every year, but every day. It is a good time to reflect.

Susan Mazza   |   21 December 2012   |   Reply

That is a wonderful perspective to take Robyn – regrets and self blame will only get in the way of us being and doing our best in the future. Appreciate you sharing your wisdom!

Skip Prichard   |   20 December 2012   |   Reply

A very motivational kick-start! Thank you.

Susan Mazza   |   21 December 2012   |   Reply

Thanks Skip!

Jon Mertz   |   22 December 2012   |   Reply

Susan, This is a great way to wrap up the year and begin anew, leveraging what worked and letting go what didn’t. It turns reflection into action. All the best to you in the new year! Jon

Susan Mazza   |   26 December 2012   |   Reply

Turing reflection into action – exactly Jon. Thanks!