How to Start the New Year Off With a Bang

How to Start the New Year Off With a Bang

Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.

-Margaret J. Wheatley

If your thoughts are focused on charging full-steam ahead into the fresh new year, what I’m about to tell you might come as a surprise.

Before you zoom into the new year, I have a simple assignment for you. Read on to find out what I want you to do – and why I know it’s going to help you start the New Year off on the right foot.

Achieving the Goal

Capture Your Accomplishments

Have you thought about the accomplishments you made this year? I don’t want you to just take a quick minute to think about the top goals you achieved this year. Instead, make a list of all your accomplishments – large and small – from the past year.

If you’re like I once was, you’re probably thinking, “Great, just another thing I don’t have time for.” Many years ago, my coach and I were discussing my goals for the upcoming year. Before we delved into the list I’d created outlining my goals, she asked me if I remembered to capture my accomplishments from the previous year.

At the time, it reminded me of preparing for my own performance reviews, which basically made me feel like I had to prove I’d been productive and valuable in the last year – definitely not my idea of a good time.

Give Yourself Credit!

Then my coach explained that when you actually consider what you’ve accomplished, it’s usually much more than you would have given yourself credit for at quick glance. It’s so easy to forget the small victories you’ve achieved along the way – the little challenges you’ve finally mastered, the annoying little problems you tackled.

When you’re so focused on what lies ahead – and all the challenges that still need to be solved – it’s easy to lose sight of everything that’s brought you to the point where you are today.

I started to make my own list, beginning with what I considered my greatest accomplishments that year: surviving my second corporate acquisition, becoming certified as a professional coach, launching my business, taking my first paying clients, and even performing a comedy skit in front of 150 people – and receiving a standing ovation!

As my list continued, I realized I’d almost overlooked the less obvious achievements, like a relationship with my sister, once previously on life support, now transformed into a loving relationship. I thought about the amazing connections I’d developed with fellow coaches and business owners, how I’d changed my coaching niche, and more.

3 Reasons Why Reflection is Important
How to Start the New Year Off With a Bang

Reflection isn’t just another task to squeeze into your already over-scheduled day. It has numerous benefits, and I’ve highlighted three of my favorite ones below:

  1. You can use your accomplishments to push you forward. Reflecting on all your achievements can help you put things in perspective. When you’re caught up in the heat of the moment, it’s easy to dwell on the negative and get overwhelmed. But when you reflect positively, you allow yourself the time you need to step back, take a breather, and come back refreshed and in a better state of mind.
  2. You can learn from your mistakes. I believe there aren’t necessarily “mistakes” – only lessons learned. If you don’t take time once in a while to reflect on your shortcomings, you run the risk of repeating them again and again. Use this time of reflection not only to address what went well, but also to identify what wasn’t so great – and how you can prevent the same things from happening in the future.
  3. You can get new ideas to help you in the New Year – and beyond. Go a step further when you make a list of all your accomplishments. Dissect some of your biggest milestones to find out what helped you meet your goal or master a challenge. When you do this, you not only isolate the tactics and tools that helped you succeed – but you open yourself to new ideas for even greater good.

Don’t just take my word for it – try it for yourself and see what happens. As you celebrate your accomplishments and give yourself the credit you deserve, you’ll be able to march forward confident in your ability to succeed!

What was your greatest accomplishment this year? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


Accomplished: How to Go from Dreaming to DoingA simple, step by step system that gives you the foundation and structure to take your goals and make them happen.

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  1. Maritza Parra

    Love this sage advice Jodi! I always take a whole day to reflect on the past 12 months and plan out the next 12 – it’s fun and very enlightening! It helps me discover things to celebrate that I may not have noticed and also helps me to see where I can adjust my course to get where I want to be – I love your tip #3 – dissecting your accomplishments!

  2. FireStarters

    Jodi, such great guidance for us all heading into 2015. Reflection brings all the opportunity to gain wisdom as you keenly highlight. The 3 reflection points are perfect for me to use today as I take a moment in a quiet spot to leverage them moving forward. Thank you Jodi!

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you! 2014 was a great year personally and spiritually for me. On the business side, I didn’t hit my goals and I kept trying to just push the year under the rug. Instead, I am ready to find the gems that are worth reflecting on as well as what I can learn from the ones that I tried to hide.

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