It’s that time again, the end of another year is upon us and we are all starting to think about what is in store for the New Year.
Every year I notice Facebook posts from people saying “good riddance” to the year and hoping for a better one coming. I have been that person myself at times in my life, saying a big old “get stuffed” to an entire year, writing it off as a waste of my life and wishing it never happened.
There are two major problems with doing that.
First, we are focussing all our attention and spending our energy on regurgitating the negatives of the year, holding onto them and carrying them with us into the new year like baggage.
When we do this, we leave no room in our minds for all the good things that happened and don’t allow ourselves to benefit from the happiness those good times and gratitude for them brings us.
The other problem is we make assumptions that next year is going to be without challenges, which of course it is not and therefore we create a perpetual cycle of unrealistic expectation and disappointment.
Each new year brings with it new challenges as well as new awesomeness.
The only thing we can do is prepare our minds and attitudes for those times by acknowledging that life is going to be hard sometimes, but we humans are so very strong and can positively process challenges as something that will build our strength, character and wisdom.
It is an attitude choice that we can make to get through without constant disappointment and complaining about things (which depletes us of energy), rather than being happy and grateful for everything (which energises us).
Here are 5 steps to positively process and farewell the year whist simultaneously setting yourself up/priming your brain, with a positive attitude and mindset for awesomeness in the new one.
Write a list of all your accomplishments, great and small for the year. – Don’t hold back either, even if you aimed to lose five kilos and managed one – that is still an accomplishment! Write it down. List all your wins and highlights from work, relationships, personal growth and other advancement, anything you can remember.
Write a list of the fun things you did throughout the year. Holidays, outings, catch-ups with friends, quiet time for you, anything that brought you happiness and fulfilment.
Write a list of everything you have to be grateful for, right here, right now, great or small. Did you wake up in a warm bed this morning? Did you have a warm shower, was there food in your cupboard, do you have a home? Are your children happy and healthy, do you have a car to get you places, do you have working limbs to drive it, or can they get you to a bus?
Acknowledge the challenges you had (but don’t write them down) instead write a list of the blessings and lessons and growth that came with those challenges. Anything positive you can think of, did a friend show up to help you and make you feel valued and loved? Did you realise you are strong and can manage more than you thought? Did you learn something new?
Decide that you are going to spend the new year focussing on and intentionally seeking out positive experiences rather than the negative ones. Acknowledge, deal with and learn from the hard times for sure, but keep your mind regurgitating the good ones. This then becomes a new thought habit and the good times will outweigh the bad in your mind and your brain will be trained to just automatically seek and focus on the good.
Happiness is a result of what you chose to focus your attention on and living in gratitude for it all.
Try it and see how you go! I wish you a very happy new year!
Remember, life is good, then it’s hard, then it’s awesome, then it sucks, then it rocks again!
The most control you will have over it is simply your attitude to it and how you process and respond to the challenges and how much you acknowledge and live in gratitude to both sides as an essential part of it.