The end of December is a great time to celebrate what you accomplished in 2016. Whether your achievements were large or small, it’s important to end the year reflecting on your success.
Take a moment now to pause and think about what went well for you this year. You can use these questions to begin the process:
What were the most meaningful goals you achieved? What were the most important actions you took to reach those objectives?
What did you do to be a better leader/parent/friend?
What did you do to build and maintain positive relationships with co-workers, clients, family members and friends?
What problems or challenges brought out the best in you? How are you stronger and more resilient?
What did you do to increase your health, happiness and well-being?
I hope you took a few minutes to savor your success this year. You may feel you could have done better and you’re probably right, but ruminating on the root cause of your wins is more powerful and productive than replaying all your losses. Feeling bad or having regrets about what you did or didn’t do in the past is a formula for failure in the future.
In a few days, we will close the door on 2016; and between now and then, all of us have to make a decision about what we want to change in 2017. Whatever behaviors or habits you want to develop or goals you want to achieve, there is one choice you can make that will dramatically increase your chance of doing what you say you want to do. This choice has nothing to do with developing the willpower to honor your New Year’s Resolutions. In fact, the decision I’m going to suggest will seem so simple that most of you will discount the positive impact it will have on your relationships and results. However, this idea will work for anyone who is ready and willing to make their work and family life better, even if it’s great right now.
The decision I’m talking about is to commit to making 2017 the year you really live…ONE DAY, ONE HOUR, ONE MOMENT AT A TIME. This one decision will dramatically increase the quality of your work and your life, as well as improve your health and happiness.
We’re all aware our lives are lived in the present moment, but we trick ourselves into believing tomorrow is a better day to start making positive changes. We justify procrastinating by saying to ourselves, “Some day I’ll…” but in reality we know that day will never come. This line of thinking keeps us surviving in our comfort zone, but it will never help us thrive.
If you’re ready to make the decision to live one day at a time, consider using this process…just for today only:
Divide your day into three 6-hour sections. I use Morning (6am-12pm), Afternoon (12pm-6pm) and Evening (6pm-12am).
Around 12pm, spend 5 minutes reflecting on what went well this morning and identify one thing you want to do better in the next 6 hours. Write your answers in a journal. Don’t worry about what you didn’t do well or waste time thinking about the things that are out of your control. Just focus on the behaviors and habits you want to develop, the relationships you want to improve and the goals you want to achieve during this time period. It’s best to have a consistent set of questions you ask yourself so you stay focused on your priorities. You can use the ones I listed at the beginning of this message or make up your own.
Repeat the same process this afternoon and evening.
You don’t have to commit to doing this exercise all year. You just want to do it today. If it works for you, like I know it will, then when you wake up tomorrow, make the decision to do it again.
I hope you choose to have a very Happy and Healthy New Day Today!
Let’s Get Better. Together! Bill Durkin