At the end of December, I like to look back on the year and reflect on what I’ve learned. It’s my way of extracting the lessons from the past so I can incorporate them as I move forward into the new year.

Do you do that too?

Stop Focusing Only on the Negatives

As I looked back on this year, the first things that came to mind were revealing. For example:

  • “I’m not thinking big enough – I need to be more ambitious”
  • “I’m not delegating as much as I could – I must start relying more on the team”
  • “I’m not setting aside enough time to read and learn and think – I’m too busy doing”

These thoughts were all about negatives and disappointments. Things in the “must do better” category. And I have to say, it wasn’t energizing.

I didn’t even think about the achievements until one of my team members suggested that we’d had quite a few. It’s like those situations when you get a ton of praise for your presentation or project, but focus on the one negative comment.

Remember Your Achievements

At first, I had a hard time recalling more than one or two recent achievements. So, I pulled out my calendar and started going through it. Only then did I remember the positives, especially from the beginning of the year. For example:

  • Creating a virtual event in January that we’re on the way to tripling in size in the new year
  • Pulling off a big, live event in London in the spring
  • Facilitating a panel at a global conference in Paris over the summer

These were definitely energizing to think about and celebrate!

It’s Not Just About Work

When it comes to remembering the positives, it doesn’t have to stop at just your work achievements.

Equally important are the other areas of your life. Maybe even more important.

In my case, it was:

  • Working on my mental game, including changing my money mindset
  • Achieving two personal bests at my CrossFit gym
  • Visiting my parents more than 10 times this year

When it’s Time to Change Our Habits

The fact that someone else had to remind me to focus on the positives was a revelation. The funny thing is, I’m seen as a positive person – and I even think of myself that way. Yet, focusing on where I don’t measure up is how I’ve driven myself all these years.

While looking at my gaps has been my recipe for success in the past, it has come at a cost. And I now see that it’s slowing me down and getting in the way. It’s time to make a change and focus on the positive achievements!

Get ready to move forward

Now let’s talk about you.

This is a great time to list out all your achievements for the year that’s just gone by, and wrap a bow around it so you can look forward to next year.

And if, like me, you tend to focus on the negatives, then it’s time to extract the lessons from your disappointments and put a bow around those too.

When you’ve made both lists and wrapped the proverbial bow around them, you can put them on the shelf and look forward to the new year!

So, which of your achievements from the year are most energizing to you?

Leave a comment and let me know so we can celebrate together, and then look forward to the year ahead.