Get Yourself On Track in the New Year

by marilyn on February 2, 2015

The best way to get on track in the New Year is to make an honest assessment of what worked– and what didn’t– last year. When we suspend self-criticism and self-judgment and can be truly  objective, there are valuable lessons to be learned. Sometimes the best lessons are learned from our disappointments, “failures” and all those goals that never even left the gate.

“I have learned all kinds of things from my many mistakes. The one thing I never learn is to stop making them.”       — Joe Abercrombie, Last Argument of Kings

So, if you dare, make your list. Start with the good stuff. Acknowledge yourself for everything big and small that you accomplished last year. Did you start  or try something new, get into a new relationship? make more money? manage your money better than ever? help a neighbor? make amends with someone? Any and all of these things count, but we often overlook them.

Now look at the other side: Who or what disappointed you? Did you disappoint someone else? Yourself? Did you try your hardest and have things not work out? The Chinese call this the “sweet truth.” In the Western world we think of it as, “The truth will set you free.”

Now comes the hard part! Evaluate your accomplishments and disappointments. Are there themes that show up on both sides i.e. something you did consistently where you had success that you didn’t do where there were disappointments? Did one issue (e.g. procrastination) interfere in multiple ways? What kept you from procrastinating when you were successful? if you know them, see how the items you listed line up with your values. (Email me if you don’t know your values and I’ll send you a comprehensive list so you can see your top 1o!). You might notice that things worked out when your goals were aligned with your core values, and didn’t when there was a disconnect.

Now it’s true that sometimes “stuff happens.” Today’s analysis of the bad decision the Seahawks made in the last seconds of  yesterday’s Superbowl game, makes you think. We never can know what might have been if we went the other way. There are some fascinating business examples.  For instance, Excite (now passed on an opportunity to buy Google when it was very small for $750,000. Today, Google is worth $365 billion! Imagine what it would be like to be “asking” vs. “googling” all the time? Then there’s Blockbuster who passed on buying Netflix for $50 million and ended up self-destructing.

We all have smaller versions of these examples in our lives. The only effective way to manage them is to appreciate the bases of our choices, know we did our best and then. . . the hardest part. . . let go. In the end self-acceptance is powerful and allows us to more forward with new energy.

If you’re interested in creating an action plan for 2015, go to:




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