We have entered the holiday season. Thanksgiving leftovers may still be in your fridge, your belt may feel tighter than it did a week ago, and you may not be able to believe Christmas is less than a month away.
Between now and January 2nd, there will be more parties, festivities, eating, drinking and spending than there is the rest of the year combined! And then before you know it, it’s the beginning of the New Year. A time when many of us look back on the excess of the holiday season and vow to do better in 2017.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to begin the New Year without that feeling of remorse – the litany of shoulda, coulda, woulda repeating in your head?
- I shoulda exercised more, volunteered more, spent more time with family.
- I coulda eaten healthier (but there were so many events) or I couldaplayed the piano for my family if I had practiced.
- I woulda spent less but I didn’t have time to really shop and compare or I woulda gone to my relative’s house but ….
And if we are honest with ourselves, we’ll recognize that this pattern has repeated itself year after year.
But… it doesn’t have to.
What most people don’t know is that the first step toward changing your future is actually looking at your past. In my upcoming book Live Large – The Achiever’s Guide to What’s Next,I invite people to do a retrospective and lifeline of their lives. Retrospectives are powerful exercises that give us big insights into who we are so we can gain the perspective to make new decisions about where we want to be.
To avoid the January 2nd laments, here is your very own retrospective:
Think back to those holiday seasons that you remember as being great. It may be one from high school or college, your young adult years, maybe your first holiday away from home, or holidays with your own children or others’ children. What made the special ones special? What were the characteristics? If there were holidays that were difficult, what made them so? Write it all down.
As you look at the lists, consider what you will do this year to bring to life the characteristics or qualities that really matter. What are the experiences that will set you up for feeling great on January 2nd, with no regrets? Now make a plan to create that reality.
Until next Tuesday,