2016 has been a strange year. Crazy stuff going on in the wider world and plenty of unexpected events closer to home too. All the more reason to make some peace with this funny old year before it comes to a close and we start afresh with 2017.
With six simple questions, this post is going to help you reflect, acknowledge, take stock and feel some gratitude for the experiences you’ve had and the things you’ve achieved in 2016.
I don’t know about you, but whenever I think back to what I was doing any more than a couple of months ago it can feel like a different lifetime. So it’s hardly surprising that, over the course of a year, it’s so easy to forgot how far we’ve come, what we’ve achieved and how different we might feel.
It’s pretty likely that what was worrying us in January 2016 has now been dealt with, resolved itself or been over taken by the far more pressing matters which we’re wrestling with in December – it feels like almost everything will have changed in the course of just 11 months.
So before you go rushing into those New Years resolutions, get your diary out and put your reflective head on, we’re going back in time…..
1. What can you congratulate yourself for?
Whether life-changing or miniscule, identify some achievements that you haven’t yet taken credit for and raise a little toast to yourself. Think about the successes you’ve had not only at work, but with your family, in other relationships, in your personal development or in your health/well-being.
I’d like to raise a glass to myself and celebrate the fact that I’ve written 27 blog posts this year and had 2 articles published on other sites. Oh, and I managed to run a half marathon for the first (and last time) in ages.
2. What have you overcome?
What barriers or hurdles were you up against earlier in the year? Think about how difficult and possibly insurmountable they felt at the time and how you then made your way round them, how you adapted, how you made some tricky decisions.
I took a bit of a bold step earlier this year based on the realisation that I didn’t just want to be a personal trainer and that coaching was, by far, the more satisfying and interesting part of my business. That meant turning off the tap to part of my business and being ok with taking a couple of steps backwards in order to move forward in a better direction.
3. What have you learned?
Challenging times are glaring opportunities to gain perspective and learn something important about ourselves or how to better manage future situations. Don’t go through tough stuff without sussing out what it came to teach you. Lick your wounds, then take some time to digest and assimilate what worked and what you might want to do differently next time.
I’ve recently realised that that my tendency for excessive planning is just a fancy way of procrastinating. For me, 2017 is going to be about getting into action, being bold and making an investment in myself and my business.
I’ve also worked out that my body really likes to get hot and sweaty, so am upping the spinning and hot power yoga from now on.
4. Who has touched your life this year?
Think about any new relationships you’ve made, friendships that have blossomed or perhaps been rejuvenated. Have you also made the decision this year to step away from some relationships which don’t serve you so well – pretty brave and how much lighter do you feel?
Is there someone who’s been there for you in the tougher times this year – do they know how much you appreciate their support? Why not take the time right now to let them know how great they’ve been?
And then, what about the lives that you’ve touched – who will be grateful for the role that you’ve played in their lives in 2016? Take a moment to feel warm and fuzzy about all that.
I’ve been lucky to have been able to spend more time with the lovely friends of The Handsome Chap this year, they’re a wonderfully good bunch (he has great taste!) and I look forward to loads more fun times with them in 2017. It’s also been fantastic to make an even stronger connection with some of the special ladies I did yoga teacher training with last year – so much fun when you find your tribe. And my special thanks goes to a little blonde lady in Kent who always seems to know when I need an understanding ear and rarely fails to make me laugh in the process.
5. What can you forgive yourself for?
It definitely hasn’t been a perfect year and I doubt that you’ve been perfect either but the good news is that’s exactly what makes you vulnerable, interesting, likeable and human – hurrah!
Do a bit of housekeeping now to make sure that you’re able to go through into the New Year with a fresh head and a clear conscience. Think about what you might still be holding on to from 2016 – guilt, shame, disappointment of expectations or promises not quite met – work out what’s still useful, how you want to carry it forward and then get rid of all the rest.
I forgive myself for the all the salty carbs which I unconsciously ate, the exercise that I thought about doing but didn’t, the naps that I took when I was meant to be working and for the times when I let my negative head cloud my view of the world.
I am most definitely very human. Phew.
6. To wrap it up, find your magic moments:
Go through your diary and, if you use it, your social media for the whole year and take a moment to remember with fondness all of the great times and all the things which brought (and hopefully still bring) a smile to your face. Then allow yourself a flutter of excitement about all the great things that you don’t currently know are going to happen and all the new memories you’re going to make in the year to come.
My magic moments include: new friends and reset time in Morrocco; a fantastic meal at Dinner; every time a new client got in touch; a weekend of walking with The Handsome Chap in the Peaks; a plethora of shih-tzu related fun and cuddles; yumminess in Lisbon; the Isabella Plantation in full bloom; Turkish sunshine and the most glamorous wedding I’m ever likely to go to; a great day of learning with Dr Hamilton; a night in a hot tub with lovely friends; an afternoon with the Mumford’s’; my first ever park run; an epic road trip around British Columbia, Canada; the most amazing London wedding of two of my favourite people; all the insights uncovered by my clients (with a little bit of help from me); going for it at spinning to Sunchyme by Dario G and a peaceful Christmas with my wonderful parents.
And there are still 5 days to go!
So, I really hope this little exercise has helped you to remember that 2016 wasn’t just about Brexit, Trump and celebrity deaths. Over the course of this year you’ve achieved so much more, smiled so much more and connected with so many more wonderful people than you choose to remember.
And next year you get to do it all over again!
Now take a deep breath and get out there to make some more amazing memories.
Feel like you need a bit of help to prioritise looking after yourself in 2017, The Mental Movement is ready to be at your service. Read more here about what I do and how you can work with me.