We’ve learned to make our bed before leaving our room, tidy up the house before leaving for the day, straighten up our desk before leaving our work day…you get the idea. Well, have you considered that while we do these things on a daily basis, what would it look like if we decided to “clean up our year” before we leave it?
As the year comes to a close, I always like reviewing the year to see what worked, what didn’t, what I can change, what to let go of, what no longer serves and what am I now ready for as a new year approaches. It’s a great way to continually grow and take an assessment of how things are going in any category that holds meaning. So as the year begins to wind down, how would you clean up some of the areas that are most important to you? Let’s take a few categories:
Health: If you’ve been lax about what you’re eating or how you’re moving, how can you clean that up? Can you decide to ditch the junk food, limit your drinking or commit to a fitness routine you can stick with?
Work: When you evaluate how you’ve been showing up at work, what needs cleaning up? If you lost your motivation, what do you need to do to get it back? If you stopped pushing yourself, doing those extras that brought about great results, or stretching yourself to learn what’s needed to take yourself to the next level, what can you do to recharge yourself so you’re eager and ready as the New Year arrives?
Relationships: If you take an honest look at how you showed up in your relationships, what do you see? Are you still harboring grudges, anger, resentment and bitterness towards someone? If so, it’s chipping away at your health and well-being. If forgiveness feels like too big of a stretch, can you move towards acceptance first? If you’ve been distant, neglectful or aloof, how can you clean things up to be more present and available to those you love?
Self-Care: If you’ve been burning the candle at both ends, neglecting your own self-care so that you can put in a few more hours at work, get a few more chores done or make sure everyone else’s needs are cared for, it’s likely you’re not showing up at your best. It’s virtually impossible when you’re burned out, exhausted and depleted. So while you may be viewing self-care as selfish, what can you clean up so you treat self-care as self-preservation? Can you add in a short but meaningful morning routine? Do you need to say no more often?
Personal Development: We’re either growing or we’re dying. When you take a look at where you are, are you any different than you were at the beginning of the year? If you’re complaining or jealous of others about something (your health, work, relationships, etc.) it’s often because we know we can do something about it…and we’re not. What needs cleaning up here so you’re having a different level of conversation next year? What books, programs, thought leaders or concepts are you ready to include in your life to clean up your year in the personal development category?
Spirituality/Faith: When you take a look into this category, what needs cleaning up? Do you have a practice that helped you feel grounded and centered? Do you want to explore meditation, mindfulness, journaling, yoga, breathwork or some other type of practice to help you feel less stressed and more connected? If so, how will you clean that up so you move into the New Year with a plan that’ll help you move towards that?
When changes are deliberate and intentional (versus hopeful), we’re moving forward. I’ll never forget a mentor of mine saying: “You can’t steer a parked car.” Is your car in motion and if so, is it headed in a direction you want to go? If not, it’s time to clean up the year so we can intentionally show up more fully in the categories that hold meaning to us.
Founder and CEO, The PBT (Post Betrayal Transformation) Institute