5 Steps to End the Year on a Positive Note
It’s been a challenging year for many. How do we end the year strong and move forward into 2023 with intention and a positive perspective? To get an answer to that question, I reached out to Sonia Satra, a thought leader and transformational expert, who always seems to have practical, doable answers that actually work! I hope you will enjoy her article and make every day of the New Year count!
5 Steps to End the Year on a Positive Note
By Sonia Satra, Motivational Fitness, Mind-Body and Life Coach
It’s that time of year, when many of us are busy with the hustle and bustle of the holidays. It’s also a time when I often hear, “I can’t believe this year is already over, where did the time go? I didn’t accomplish everything I said I was going to do.”
Trust me, that thought has certainly crossed my mind. And maybe you haven’t earned a million dollars, finished that book, met your soulmate, or won an Oscar…. YET, I guarantee you still did a lot of noteworthy things.
Yet it’s so easy to dismiss our positive achievements and focus on all the ones we didn’t complete. Right?
Unfortunately, that makes us feel badly and ultimately, it’s not very effective either. So why do we continue to do that? Well, it seems good ol’ human nature is hard wired to focus on the negative. Scientists believe that is function of our survival instinct. Our ancestors were more likely to live if they could detect danger. Hence, we became inherently programmed to look for anything that might pose a threat to our safety and ability to thrive.
In fact, that is so prevalent that many people don’t even write New Year’s goals or resolutions anymore because they feel like they “always fail, so why bother”. That can also be interpreted as “I may fail and that is ‘dangerous”.
Yet research proves that when you have a clear vision, set specific intentions, and add concerted action, amazing things can happen. In fact, according to the well know study by the University of Scranton, people who set New Year’s Resolutions are 10 times more likely to achieve them than those who don’t.
We also know that celebrating our victories, even the small ones, releases all those good feeling chemicals in our brain like dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. Subsequently, those warm and fuzzy feelings reinforce our growth and learning, promotes a sense of connection with others and builds greater confidence.
So, instead of going down the defeated I didn’t accomplish anything rabbit hole, let’s change that pattern and take a deep dive into all the wonderful things you DID DO.
I want to share an easy, end of year exercise that I started doing about 15 years ago. This has now become a non-negotiable tradition because I know how important it is for the brain and nervous system to track accomplishments in order to create momentum and future success.
This is a simple 5 step process. I encourage you to do it right now or schedule a time in the very near future. I know how easy it is to say, “I’ll do it later or tomorrow”, and before you know it, next year is rolling around.
- Set a timer for 5 minutes. Write everything you accomplished this year, and include things from all areas of your life….work, relationship, physical well-being, spiritual, friends and family, home, etc. Remember, it’s important to record it even if it seems small and, in your mind, insignificant. It’s not, it counts, and all big changes and goals are a series of small wins.
Also, forget perfection, focus on your progress. For example, if you started an exercise plan or meditation routine but followed through 2-3 days instead of the 5 times a week that you originally planned. Write down and celebrate the 2-3 days of activity- that’s more than the 0 you did last year. That’s a victory not a loss.
Stay open, let it flow, focus on the positives (no judging) and let your achievements take center stage.
- Examine, “Why did all of that happen? What did you do? What beliefs supported you?”
I find people often discount or rush through this step. And yet it is key!
Funny thing is most people ask these questions incessantly when things don’t work out. However, they won’t stop to examine and ask powerful questions when things do work out. Success leaves clues. This is a golden opportunity to find the clues or specific recipe for your future success. It will also help you own and embody your power, skills, actions, and the belief that YOU CAN DO IT.
- Assess: What worked and what didn’t? This is a great time for “house cleaning” and resetting your mindset.
Take an honest look at what behaviors, habits, beliefs, relationships, and intentions fully supported you and are worth bringing into 2023? And which ones aren’t aligned with who you are and who you want to be?
This is a great opportunity to let go of what is not working to make room for what you deeply, truly want.
- Express gratitude: Take a moment to appreciate the people and opportunities that supported your journey. Who helped you and who did you share your success with? Also capture some of the magic moments both big and small that you had the privilege of experiencing this year.
According to a Harvard Health Publication, gratitude helps build resilience, strengthen relationships, improve health, and increases happiness.
- Reflect and celebrate. This is your chance to really celebrate your wins. Don’t say, “Yeah, yeah I won this award, but it was nothing, look at all of the things I didn’t do.” Some of you may be smiling or looking a little guilty because you know that you do that. However, by negating your success, you are reinforcing those limiting beliefs and essentially telling your brain that you aren’t worthy or good enough.
Please don’t gloss over this, really allow yourself to feel your success. Give yourself a pat on the back, do a happy dance (look here if you forgot how:- ) or reward yourself in some way. Remember it’s important to link positive emotions to all those hard-won actions and accomplishments.
Research by several scientists including Fredrickson, Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi have determined that positive associations with achievement not only creates greater happiness, but it also significantly improves learning, willingness to take more chances and workflow.
(Psst….here’s another win to add to your list….you completed this exercise! J )
Here’s to celebrating all you have done in 2022. And wishing you a Happy, Healthy, and prosperous 2023. Go out and SHINE!
If you want guidance on letting go of the old and creating a new, fulfilling and successful 2023, I am offering a special 20% off a 3-month coaching package. Set up an appointment for a Discovery Call to see if this is right for you.
Sonia Satra is a mindset and fitness thought leader who specializes in personal transformation for women by integrating the mind, body and emotion to create lasting change. She is a life coach, NLP practitioner, Keynote Speaker and CEO of the award-winning company, Moticise, LLC. https://www.soniasatra.com