In 2016, you did some powerful, courageous and generous things. You also did some stupid, petty and mindless things. I know this because I did too.
You were empathetic.
You were mean.
You were present.
You started every sentence in the hour before your child’s bedtime with “Don’t.”
Yes, we did that.
Now, you have two choices about how to move forward.
Forget about all the times you nailed it and instead stew and ruminate on why you can’t seem to be a good wife, husband, leader, parent, daughter, son, caregiver or [insert one of a thousand roles you play on a daily basis].
Acknowledge all the ways you kicked 2016’s butt AND all of the ways you failed/were human. Reflect and learn from both. Repeat.
I know Option 1 sounds like a joke, but you’d be by surprised how many people close out every year by choosing it! When you do choose it, you bring all of that guilt and anger into your brand spanking New Year. As my best girlfriend from childhood would say, “That’s a lot of luggage!” You don’t want to drag an LV trunk worth of negativity into 2017! What a way to cancel out opportunities that await.
Instead, I ask my clients to choose Option 2 and do this exercise to complete their year.
1) Block out some quiet time where you won’t be disturbed. (Often the toughest part!)
2) Write a letter to yourself where you:
- Name your 2016 wins—big and small. Whatever is meaningful to you.
- Forgive yourself for things you wish you had done better AND for the things you wanted to do, but didn’t.
- Be kind, be generous and be accepting of yourself. Treat yourself as you would a close friend or your child. Understanding. Loving. Laughing with instead of at.
2) Read it aloud.
3) Leave your luggage on the stoop. You need to make space for new, exciting and creative ideas, friend.
Now that you've given 2016 a proper sendoff, add one New Year's toast to Option 2. Onward!