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Toast it up and celebrate 2015’s successes and challenges

Photo source: Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

Photo source: Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

This year was super fast-paced for me. There were many days when I didn’t know if I was coming or going. I set some pretty ambitious goals at the top of the year; however, with the way things were moving, I didn’t always feel as though I was accomplishing them.

Last week, I decided to review my goals from 2015. For a brief moment, I was pleased that quite a few of them had been knocked out. But before I could break out the champagne, I was on to planning my life for 2016. A few days later, I noticed a wise note posted in one of my family member’s homes. It stated that reaching the destination doesn’t happen every day. It is the journey and the lessons on that journey that should be acknowledged and celebrated.

It was at that moment that I realized that I needed to take the time to celebrate the good, the bad, and the ugly of 2015. I decided to create this new ritual by taking myself to dinner. I went alone and upgraded the usual spots for a more luxurious experience. At the table, I made three lists: successes, challenges, and items I was grateful for. Brutal honesty was the goal and I was pleased with the process. It was actually quite cathartic. It allowed me to rejoice in the things I did well. It also gave me a front row seat to the areas that were tough and the lessons associated with it.

I would recommend that everyone do it. Check out some tips for making this practice impactful.

1. Make yourself the guest of honor. Create a ritual that puts you first. Whether your treat or cook yourself a dinner or go to your favorite place, make it special. You may choose to go alone or take your biggest supporters with you.

2. Don’t be afraid to give yourself props. I run into so many people that are afraid to toot their own horns for fear that it will be interpreted as arrogance. If you can’t express pleasure for your accomplishments, who will?  High five yourself for 5-10 items. I was elated about my success in business and having the opportunity to write for you.

3. We all make mistakes. List them. Look, I am sure we all wish we were “Patty or Paul Perfect,” but everyone makes mistakes. This is how we grow. Not to mention, life comes with its own set of challenges that are often out of our control. List 5-10 items that prevented you from living your best life. Be honest, look at the lesson, and move on.

4. Don’t forget gratitude. Saying thank you is so powerful. Make a list of up to 10 things you were grateful for this year. You may find that a combination of challenges and success will appear on this list. Sometimes there are blessings when things don’t go as planned.

Read your list a couple of times, put it away and enjoy your celebration. You will be ready to make things happen in 2016. Happy New Year!