It is that time of year again – time for hors d’oeuvres eating, eggnog drinking and overall holiday cheer. However, many people feel that something is lacking in their lives even in the midst of all the merriment. For some, the year end leads to the holiday blues as they reflect on the past year and the things they might not have accomplished – the job they didn’t get, the pounds they didn’t lose, the relationship that didn’t materialize, the house they didn’t buy.
While it is easy to focus on the ‘should haves’, it is much better to focus on the future. There is much that can be done during these last few days of the year, to set up 2012 to be your best year ever. The first step to moving forward is to be able to look back with appreciation, rather than regret. During those times of reflection, acknowledge and appreciate the blessings of health, friendship, family, food and shelter.
To close the year out on a positive note, do this exercise to release the negative energy and create the right environment for success. List the things, from A to Z, that you are grateful for. Some tips to get you started:
A – The air that flows through your lungs daily without you even thinking about it. The ability to breathe, clean air is often taken for granted.
B – Your daily bread. Few Americans have the problem of wondering where our next meal will come from. In fact, most have the opposite problem – we ingest an abundance of food, often to our physical detriment. Take the time to consider those who are less fortunate, and perhaps to engage in a short fast to detoxify your body and strengthen your spirit.
C – Courage. Many of you have faced things that would have made others cower in fear. Yet, with faith and courage, you persevere through the storms of life, knowing that going “through” a valley means you will come out, stronger, on the other side.
Continue your list until you have written something for each letter of the alphabet (feel free to check the dictionary for help with ‘q’ and ‘z’). You’ll find that focusing more on your ‘haves’ and less on your ‘have nots’ will make you more appreciative of what you have been blessed with.
The end of a year should be a time of reflection, of giving thanks and for looking forward to a fresh, new start. Each new year provides a clean slate with new opportunities and a chance for greater focus on one’s goals.
Next week’s article will focus on strategies to begin the new year with a fresh start on your career and personal goals, so that you can make 2012 your best year ever. Here’s to a happy and prosperous New Year!