Today is December 16. We have two more weeks left in 2015. Wow. I remember sitting down to write out my goals and outcomes for 2015 like it was yesterday. And here we are. Is it my age that makes it seem things just move faster and faster? George Carlin once said, “Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes.” At this point in my ever-accelerating life, I often just put my arms in the air and enjoy the crazy ride.
It’s fun. And yet…
And yet, there are so many ways to acknowledge the beauty of the ride. So many ways to acknowledge what we have done and all we have created. We can actually set the stage for an intentional 2016. Here is my favorite way to do that. Be grateful. I know that if you had a dime for every blogger, business coach, life coach, pastor, who told you to be grateful, you would be wealthy. But there is a reason you keep hearing this. It is an indispensable key to progress, success, wealth, love and happiness. Look at that list. That covers business life and personal life. That covers everything. It’s ironic – the more you acknowledge what you have, the more you will get. Sometimes that is just because you have so much more than you realize and you can train yourself to see it. It is largely because we focus on what we choose to focus on, we humans. We are problem-solvers and as such we are oriented to look for problems. This is okay. This is human nature.
But besides human nature, we also have human ability and choice. We can choose to look at something different than what we are naturally drawn to. The happiest and the most successful people choose – they choose where to place their attention, what to look at, what to act upon. They are proactive and responsive, rather than reactionary. No matter where you are standing, you can be this person. Here’s your start (and the beginning of a closedown for this year): be grateful. Be grateful for all you created in 2015 – for everything you can see you generated, and for the things that fell into your lap. Right now. It doesn’t take that long, but oh yeah – you need to write it down. It doesn’t work nearly as well if you just say it in your head. Here’s mine (in part) as an example for you. I am grateful for:
• My business – more successful and thriving than ever this year, and allowing me to expand out, meet new people, work with groups, do more public trainings, do more in-house trainings; create, grow and learn;
• My children – teenagers and unbelievably smart, aware, insightful, caring and overall joyful;
• My friends – who have held my hand and seen me through (and continue to see me through) some fascinating challenges this year;
• My clients – who have faith in me, but more than that in themselves, who inspire me on a daily basis and honor me with their willingness to stretch and grow beyond where they ever thought they could;
• My health – I am 51 years old. I have never been healthier.
As I stand here writing this, I see there is so much more I could say. When you do this exercise, you will also see how this opens up so much more to be grateful for. I am grateful for looking out my office window at clear blue skies and yellow leaves; grateful my neighborhood is safe, grateful I have a house and an office, grateful I am alive. Let it take you where it will. For bonus credit do this every day for a month. It will absolutely change the way that you see the world.
But even if you do it just this once, do it! List all from 2015 that you are grateful for. This will allow you to close down the year, and I promise you it’s going to improve your mood, which will make you happier and more productive. And that’s a good thing.
Next week, I will write on “starting where you are,” a concept that will set you up for 2016 and where do you want to go. Following that, I will give you a way to visualize your 2016. Keep reading!