Are You Ready to Kick-Start a Great Year?

Yikes! Don’t look now… January 2020 is almost over!

One evening last month, I was sitting at my home office desk, working on my computer after a long day at work. I imagined hitting the refresh button and pulling up a blank, new page on my Apple computer. In my mind, that’s how I wanted the new year to feel – a complete reset in seconds and my new year’s vision magically appearing in front of me. But, as we all know, it is never that easy. 

My internal gremlin quickly made an appearance and said, “Why did you sit around so long, enjoying the holidays? You should have been busy writing your personal and business plans for the coming year. If you had done that in advance, you would have been well on your way to rolling out a great, new year on January 1, 2020!” I shamefully nodded my head and mumbled, “I know. You’re right. I should have been a lot more diligent to avoid missing a beat in my planning efforts.”

Whenever I feel frustrated and paralyzed into inaction, I shuffle through my card deck, “Magical Mindshift” and pick a card that jumps out at me. Well, four cards jumped out at me… PURPOSE, COMMITMENT, COURAGE, and KAIZEN. My favorite pick was the word KAIZEN. This is what this card said, “Before you jump forward, look back and see how much you accomplished by working slowly, but surely”.

Kaizen

The Japanese business philosophy of lifelong learning in small incremental steps.

Master one thing at a time before trying something new.

From time to time, look back and see how much you’ve accomplished bt working slowly, but surely.

Kay’s quick doodle of a Rabbit looking back

Drawing a quick 2-minute doodle helps me to stay focused, visualize the concept fully, and helps my brain to think creatively to solve a problem. You should try doodling!

I decided to put my time into a period of reflection, looking back on all that happened in the previous year. I’ve always kept myself from looking back because all I seem to remember were the unpleasant memories of how much more I could have accomplished in the last year. I made up my mind to change things up for this year.

Resolutions tend to focus on our dissatisfactions and what we want to change. And while change is good, it can be unhealthy and unhelpful to focus solely on our deficiencies and shortcomings. It’s good to also notice how far we’ve come, reminding ourselves of how much we’ve improved, and the progress we’ve already made.

This way of thinking may seem like complacency but it’s actually the best catalyst for self-improvement. I’m more motivated by positive reinforcement than negative, so this mindset encourages more growth for me. It reinforces in me of my courage, commitment, drive, and resiliency, which in turn gives me the desire to continue growing and following my dreams.

Hopes and curiosity for the coming year.

Go ahead and make a list of things that are important to you as well as what you want to learn in the coming months.

Then create an action list of to -dos to keep you moving closer to what you want to accomplish.

New resolutions tend to focus on our dissatisfactions and what we want to change. While change is all well and good, it can be unhealthy and unhelpful to focus solely on our deficiencies and shortcomings. It is also important to notice how far we’ve come, how much we’ve improved, and the progress that we’ve already made. This way of thinking may seem like complacency but it’s actually the best catalyst I have found for self-improvement. Personally, I am more motivated by positive reinforcement than focusing on the negative, so this type of mindset works wonders in inspiring me to improve myself. It reinforces my courage, commitment, drive, and resiliency, which in turn gives me the desire to continue growing and follow my dreams.

In that spirit, I’ve outlined my thought processes for developing a simplified plan for 2020:

Step 1: Reflect on all that happened to me in 2019.

Disappointments – Focus on the wisdom I learned from these frustrations and regrets.

Accomplishments – Remember how these made me feel and what I learned from them.

Step 2:  Determine the kinds of skills and new mindsets that were learned during the previous year.

Step 3:  Define my hopes and curiosities for the coming year and outline what I want and hope to accomplish. 

Step 4:  Develop my Kaizen Plan for 2020 and be mindful of its mantra of “small incremental steps.” 

Step 5: Draw a visual diagram of my plan and post it in plain view so that I can stay focused on my goals each and every day.

Want to write your own year-end review and a plan for 2020?

Why not start your year with hope and curiosity by writing a year-end review of your own? What went well for you last year? What things improved in your life? What goals did you achieve? And what do you intend to do to have the greatest year ever? Comment below to share your thoughts with me.

To provide you with some inspiration, I want to share two videos with you. It involves a long-term goal that I always had in mind and was eventually able to bring to fruition in 2019. I will always remember this successful, “Women in Business” conference because it helped a diverse group of women entrepreneurs to learn, connect, and grow. Hopefully, it will provide some of the momentum you need to do something special and memorable in 2020. 

And here is my second video I want to share with you. My favorite philanthropy event of each year, “Angels for the Animals, Giving a Helping hand to the Animals in Need”. I have been helping the animals in this way for the past thirteen years! These are memorable events where the feeling of love, joy, and compassion stays in my heart throughout the year.

Comments

Jean
Reply

Reading your blog was an inspiration. Thinking about one’s accomplishments and successes instead of the failures for the past year really helps in starting the New Year on a positive note. Can’t say I’ll be holding a women’s comference, but I will be contributing in little ways to help myself, other individuals, and our furry friends. Thanks, Kay for your message. It always helps to make me a better me.

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