You probably think this post is going to be all about how to set goals for the new year. Quite the contrary--I'm going to talk to you about closing out 2018. Hey, we can't just ignore it like it never happened! It's time to tidy up loose ends and put some finality on things so you can start fresh in 2019.
HINT: I've got a planning worksheet for you at the bottom of this post for you to download for free that will walk you through these steps.
We want to begin by categorizing the events of the past year in two ways: what were your wins and what were your losses? These are the important things to document as your year comes to a close. I talk to my coaching clients all the time about how important it is to plan. Planners are high achievers. But planners also have look back in time and see if they accomplished everything they planned. Otherwise, how would they know planning works?
Here are some things to think about as you create your list:
Write down the lessons for each one--yes, even for the wins. Also ask what you can take away from the "loss" experience that will turn it into a lesson. Who were you BEING to have caused that loss? Were you scared, perfectionist, or making excuses? And for the wins: were you committed, responsible, integral, focused?
Your results of this past year are a reflection of you--they are the physical manifestation of how you decided to show up in 2018. If you still aren't sure how this year has turned out for you, pull up your bank account balance. Your external environment always reflects your internal state of being.
Now let's focus back on the events of 2018. Did you complete this year? Did you do the things you said you were going to do? It's imperative that you take this time to get present because if you don't do it now, you're going to be a victim to the same habits next year. Now is the time to change habits; not an arbitrary date of January 1st.
For 2019, it's not time to add on to your to-do list. It's time to let go. Let go of the old limiting beliefs that don't serve you. What baggage have you been taking with you year after year? It could be a certification you wanted to get to enhance your skills, but you still haven't gotten it. Ask yourself why--because if you've been putting it off, chances are you're carrying the emotional weight of not fulfilling an item on your to-do list. And that's a heavy burden! Or let's say you were going to call so-and-so, revamp your website, etc. How many struggles are you carrying around with you and letting them turn in to disappointments? LET THEM GO.
Once you've cleared the cobwebs of all the old junk and unfulfilled to-do lists (seriously just go clear that list out right now), you can wrap up this year. It's now time to show gratitude for 2018. Thank it for all of the lessons. Let this year be complete. Letting the past go is what will allow you to live in the present and move forward into the next year.
What do you want your 2019 to look like? Don't just carry over all the stuff you didn't do in 2018. Really take a step back and look at it as a blank slate. Be thankful for all the lessons that came your way. Decide that you don't want to repeat the things that didn't work for you. Once you write those things down, it becomes clear to you how you need to be different in this coming year.