My goodbye to the year that has just ended usually takes on a form of a few hour session with myself. What I usually do is I take my list of goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year to discover what was occupying my head back then and what I was able to accomplish. I usually also check the same list every month to see if I’m doing any progress, but the final week of the year is the perfect time for me to sit down and to do the actual summary of what went right and what didn’t exactly go as I wanted it to.
Why is it important to do just that when January hits? Because I firmly believe in letting go and starting off fresh. And you can’t start fresh if you still haven’t dealt with the past. Close your year before you enter a new one. And by closing your year I don’t mean sitting down and beating yourself up for everything you weren’t able to achieve, or for the things you actually fucked up. What I’m saying is: simply reflect on what happened to you and whom you have become. I’m sure you made many mistakes – it’s good, it means that you’re still a human being (which is not a given nowadays), but I believe you also made some progress. Forget your fuck-ups for a second and tell me: what are you proud of? What are your small victories? What can you celebrate yourself for?
I have this weird quality (and I’m not saying it’s something I’m proud of; this is simply how I am), namely I don’t come back to the past. I just treat it as a checklist – I look at it, scan it, write down what I have to improve and that’s it. And it’s the last time I look at it because I erase it right after that. I know this makes me sound like a machine, but this is how my brain works. It’s a good thing and it’s a bad thing. I wouldn’t trade it though, because at least I’m not stuck in the past. And you have no idea how many bad things good, from a simple fact that you are constantly thinking about what already happened. How do you expect to move forward if one of your legs (and your entire head) is stuck in the past? There is this great sentence I read recently: „Once you put down one foot, you have to lift your second foot to start moving”. You can’t pretend you’re moving forward if one of your feet is still firmly on the ground – and by the ground, I mean the past.
Here is what you should do: sit down, reflect, write down the essentials to work on and let it go. It’s done; you can’t change it, you can’t influence it anymore. But what you can influence is your future. Why don’t you focus on that…? You have all the power out there, you’re the creator of your future, you can shape it any way you want to. Why you choose to hold on to what already has happened…? That’s something I never understood. We like to think that others are the reason why we fail. No. Usually, you’re the reason why you fail. And one of the things you do is cry over your mistakes instead of making a clear plan on how to avoid them in the future. You might have failed in a relationship, a friendship; you might have even made a huge mistake with your money or you failed at being there for your family in the past year. We all have something to cry over, but one very smart question to ask is this – will it help you make your situation better…? And whatever that was, I can easily answer that: No, it will not. So do yourself a favor and write down what you want to work on (it could be only one thing) and then… forgive yourself. Can you do that? Can you simply forgive yourself? You have to in order to move forward. No, you’re weren’t perfect, but you know what? No one is (believe me – no one really is), so just forgive yourself, cry if you have to and move on. You’re good, even if you weren’t the best version of yourself. Remember – put the foot down, but then lift the second one up, too… Then repeat. Before you know it, you’ll be moving forward.