Ready to close out 2016 and set yourself up for success in 2017? Try this simple, profound list-making exercise as a year-end ritual. It just might just become your favorite go-to motivation tool. Done properly, this ritual is so effective it has the power to change your experience of 2017 (yes, really). So let’s get to it!
Make A List Of Everything You're Proud Of Over The Last Year.
This ritual was first introduced to me by the fabulous Denise Duffield-Thomas of LuckyBitch.com fame. It sounds easy, but is actually quite tricky, unless you’re a detailed note taker… like, no one I know.
The key is to make your list it with a partner who really “gets” you and will help draw out everything you’ve accomplished in the last year… and who will continue to say “What else?” and hold space for that until you are fully complete.
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Start With The Words “I’m Proud Of…” And List Things Out Like:
- Goals you hit (e.g. you found that new job, or home)
- Boundaries you enforced (e.g. you stopped over-timing at work out of guilt)
- Personal accomplishments (e.g. you stuck to your morning yoga/running/journaling/juicing/fill-in-the-blank routine)
- Business or side hustle accomplishments (e.g. you surpassed you monthly income goal)
- Tricky situations you dealt with (e.g. the bullying on your son’s football team, your partner’s interfering mother, the kids’ drop-off time or place with your ex)
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Think of Anything You Want to Acknowledge & Commend Yourself For.
This is the time to really shine a light on everything you’ve done. So don’t be shy or modest.
Begin by thinking about things month by month. “What did I do in January? What can I say I’m proud of from January of this year?” What’s important about this exercise is don’t just think about huge successes. Think about the small wins too. Perhaps you met a new friend…learned a new family-favorite recipe… began a class you’d been wanting to take…read a book for the first time in ages and got just the inspiration you needed to start that “thing” you’d been thinking about for even longer. (BTW, if you’re looking for such a book, the excellent What If It Does Work Out? could be the perfect read for you.)
Now take it to the next level by having a partner simply ask you, “What else?” Then your partner needs to wait in silence. No prompting. No jumping in. Just have them ask the question and wait. The idea is to keep asking until you’ve listed at least 50 things you’re proud of. Expect lots of pauses and then just when you think you’re done you’ll hear yourself say “Oh yeah! I forgot about this one!” Then ask again, “What else?”
I promise you’ll be buzzing by the end of this, so don’t give up! The list of what you’ve accomplished is important, but even more so is the question “What else?”. Without it you’ll probably get stuck at about 5 things, or you’ll discount what you’ve achieved or you’ll have forgotten the different things you should be proud of achieving.
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Think 2016 Sucked? Then This Ritual is Especially for You.
All thoughts of having had a bad year will dissolve after doing this ritual. I promise. As Duffield-Thomas says herself, “Bragging is good for you… it’s great for manifesting to acknowledge all your wins, big and small so you can attract even more luck and abundance into the New Year”.
Remember, if you do this by yourself you’ll eventually run out of steam and think it’s easier to move on to something else. For best results you need a partner to hold space for you and gently keep asking “What else?” And by the way, you don’t have to keep this as an end of year ritual. It also makes an awesome monthly or quarterly “list of evidence”. Read it often as a way of building your confidence, momentum, flow and the power to not give up on your dreams.
So what are some of your big or small wins of 2016? We’d love to hear them! Don’t be shy. You have our permission to brag big in the comments section below… Each time you get stuck, just imagine us saying, “what else?”
Happy New Year!
Emma Bathie is a Soul Happiness Coach. Learn more about her work and how to create more of life's magic here.