I am a big fan of the New Year, not from a party all night and kiss complete strangers’ kind of way but from the perspective of reflecting on the past year and planning for the present one. Each year for the past ten years I have created a list. Things I Am Proud of for 2010 and Things I Will Achieve in 2011. My proud of list touches all areas of my life. This year I was proud of making peace with my ex-husband, I was proud of finding a way to get my daughter to a better school, I was proud of the six articles I wrote for Motivated Magazine. The writing of this list forces me to go back in time an take an inventory of what I did over the past twelve months, and it shows me pretty clearly where I have spent my time, how I have grown and what my priorities have been. I thought this year’s list was going to be a bit of a downer, because my professional accomplishments have been meagre in contrast to other years. When I read the list I had written, I felt quite proud of what I had accomplished over the year, especially in the area of personal development and family life. There were a few disappointments as well, especially in the area of writing and painting where only half of what I had planned was finished. Seeing this list was the shot of motivation I needed to make sure that these priorities aren't set to one side in the upcoming year.
After putting together my Things I Am Proud list for 2010, I moved onto my Things I Will Achieve in 2011 list. Family factors high again on this list, with my son's education being a first priority. Writing my new book is burning off the page as needing to be done, needing to move beyond tentative beginnings to full fledged consuming project. After writing this list which includes reenergizing my yoga practice, painting on nights I do not have the kids, and continuing my commitment to a healthy lifestyle, I reread the list and spend a few days making sure that this is what I actually want for the upcoming year. I have already crossed off a few goals that seemed unrealistic given the other more important priorities I am looking to achieve. It is simply not realistic for me to write a book while at the same time booking twenty five keynote speeches, and learning to care for my husband’s special needs daughter.
Once my list seems complete I find time slots for the activities I want to do. I go back to my Covey Day Timer and I find the places where writing and painting and yoga fit in. I schedule in the weekends I am going to ski, I find places to have my workouts and have a coffee with friends. Speaking of coffee, I am giving it up. A very tough choice as I am absolutely addicted to my mid morning Cappuccino! The New Year can be a time for reflection and planning. Try to really celebrate where you have been, the big things and the little things you did to make your life better, the ways in which you helped others. Write them down and then spend the time needed to really think about how you would like the upcoming year to unfold. Happy New Year. Silken