Don’t make a New Year’s resolution until you do this…

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 12.06.00 PM

There are but a handful of days left in 2014. Inevitably at this time of year, we review the past year and reflect on how it went. And then, of course, we make proclamations about how the next year is going to be different.

We’re finally going to stick with x, y or z new habit. At long last we’ll actually stop doing that thing we’ve been trying to stop doing for the past 10 years. We’ll meditate daily, move our bodies regularly, stop eating gluten, get off coffee, and take the time to hang our clothes up at the end of the day instead of throwing them on the chair in a heap.

I love a resolution as much as the next girl. I’m into goals. I love setting benchmarks. I make a mean vision board. Dreaming and scheming about the future and how awesome it’s going to be is pretty much my favorite pastime.

But in the flurry of cleansing, detoxing, wiping the slate clean, and the sparkly promises of the New Year, we often forget one important thing: noticing what’s already going great.

How to Feel Better Pretty Much Immediately

Last summer I was sitting on the beach with my little sister. She was complaining about one thing or another and was generally bumming herself and me out. Rather than point out why her life did, in fact, not suck (I didn’t want to invalidate her, you know), I told her we were going to play a game.

It was called the “This Is What’s Awesome Game.”

“How it works,” I said, “is that you tell me one thing that’s awesome in your life right now. Then I tell you one thing that’s awesome in my life right now. Then we’ll keep going back and forth.” Though I’d just made the game up on the spot, both of us got the hang of it pretty quickly.

And, wouldn’t you know it, we also both started to feel a lot better.

twitter_standingNoticing what’s already awesome in your life makes you feel better pretty much 100% of the time. (Click to Tweet)

When we set about making decisions about how the New Year is going to be the best year ever, we focus primarily on change. It’s all about bigger, better, and more.

But I guarantee you that there are some things going amazingly well in your life already. And when we ignore these things, going straight for the transformation, it invalidates the part of us that needs to be acknowledged for having created what’s already going well.

A New Kind of Year-End Review

Mike and I will be doing our year-end review and continuing our 2015 planning in the next couple of days. I’ll get out a big book with blank pages, and, like I always do, I’ll write down:

– What went great in 2014

– What didn’t go so great in 2014

– What we learned in 2014

– What we desire to create in 2015 (business and personal – some quantitative, some qualitative)

But this year I’ll be adding a category:

– What’s already going great in our lives right this very moment

Off the top of my head, I know that my newfound love of cooking, my BUTI Yoga practice, and my relationships with incredible girlfriends will be on that list.

There’s great value in assessing what’s not going well so we can make improvements. But often we’re so busy making improvements that we completely ignore the parts of our lives that are going well.

This year, don’t take what’s working in your life for granted. Take time to notice what’s already awesome.

twitter_standingOur dreams are best built on a solid foundation of acknowledging the good we already have going on. (Click to Tweet)

Over to you:

As 2014 comes to a close, what’s already going great in your life? Leave a comment below – I’d love to witness your acknowledgment of the awesomeness!

 

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24 comments

  • Right now, the things that are going great in my life are: my job, my friendships and my new side project – my blog!

  • Getting married Dec. 6 is really a great way to head in to the New Year, with a new partner in my life who will support all my dreams and ambitions. And I’m excited to start the new life we’ll create together, and see where we will end up.

  • Love this blog! I am also end-of-year wrap upmand was planning what to improve, change or do more/less. And reading your blog made me realize that 2014 was the year that I straightened my back, opened my heart and eyes to aone of my biggest issues. The big letting go and building new bridges has begun, first under the surface and now, out in the open. Will be adding some sparkle on NYE! Happy new year Kate

  • LOVE this post Kate!
    This has come up a couple times in the last few days, so I’m taking it to heart!
    I was falling in those holes of “I’m not good enough,” and “I never finish anything,” and, of course that tank trap of, “There’s so much I have to do!!” So I was failing to notice “what I HAVE accomplished” (lots), and “What I’m really proud of.”
    Here’s to 2014, and how great it was. And to an even better 2015!

  • Kate, your words totally struck a chord – thank you for sharing your thoughts! Your blog posts have been a real light to me this year — it always strikes me funny that we can feel so connected to people we’ve never met, but you have definitely been an inspiration for me in 2014. Please know what a beacon you are to so many.

    At this time of year, it can be just as easy to lose perspective by constantly looking forward, rather than looking exactly where we are. I feel just as jazzed about 2015 as the next person, but I really feel that in order to have a year as bright as I envision, I also need to see how bright ‘the moment’ is, and what exists in the present tense. My husband and I have come off a Christmas where all we could really give was a lot of love to our nearest and dearest, and as humbling as that felt, in some way it was, in fact, a much greater gift than anything we could buy in a store. SO, in the spirit of that, what’s awesome in my life right now is the amount of HEART there is, and love, joy, and connection. It feels like a pretty solid foundation to me, and that no matter what weather may blow around us, it has proven to stay steady and strong. I am very grateful.

  • Thank you Kate! It seems so simple that what’s Awesome should be too if the list to remember.
    But those pesky ” other” thoughts seem to take over.
    Thanks for the reminder and easy game to play!!!

  • Lisa

    I have renewed long lost college friendships in 2014. My kids have been in the great Blue School since Jan 2014 and we are happier, more at peace and making new and deeper friendships because of this creative school. I have finally travelled out of the country which I hadn’t done since I was pregnant with my first son 11 years ago so I have reinvigorated my (formally asleep) passion for travel by myself. Last but definitely not least, I have worked hard on acceptance and now my mother and I are get along a lot better. I am less sensitive to her wordinga and tone which then that makes me remind myself of my self love and I breath and try to answer in a more diplomatic less volatile place. So more peace has been created inside and outside myself in 2014.

  • Thank you Kate!
    It seems so simple that what’s Awesome should be top of the list to remember.
    But those pesky ” other” thoughts seem to take over.
    Thanks for the reminder and easy game to play to break the ice for uncomfortable conversations.

  • Peggy DaValt

    This was so timely, Kate. I love your style and your manner. I read your book, Money: A Love Story and actually took the time to do the exercises you gave us to do. Love your Feng Shui stuff and hope to participate in your classes sometime in 2015.

    This morning, which marks one-week since I lost my beloved 12-year old Gordon Setter, Twister, somewhat unexpectedly. I had asked for the ability to go with the flow and the Universe to bring me unexpected things….little did I know I’d be saying good-bye to Twister a week ago, when she showed her heart out for me at a dog show in late September after successful surgery for removal of a benign tumor. She was a very special dog and will live on always in her boys, and her brother’s kids. It does not make it any easier for me.

    Today I was at a breaking point of that and money woes and a house project that has to get done as my insurance company has canceled my home owner’s policy. I know that it will all work out as it should, but it seems that it has collided today. Plus, one of my dear friends met a great guy, and whenever I get a date, the dude ends of being really old (like 70+) or is married….

    so….was my 2014 good? …it really was. I had a successful year showing my dogs, my spiritual growth and personal practice was great…I addressed some fears and past life issues and that is fabulous. So…yes I had a great 2014.

    My sister became a grandmother, my mom a great-grandmother and my siblings and I a great/grand aunt/uncle. My mom is in fantastic health for an almost 84-year old and while my dream of building a brand new house has been deferred, I will remodel the old farm house that I have. Which is good.

    Thanks, Kate, for this article. I so appreciate it. Thanks for letting me share and/or vent. :=)

    Peggy DaValt

  • Lucy Ladley

    2014 – The year was a year of positive growth. I realized how intentional that I need to be to keep my thoughts positive. The internal dialog that goes on in my head either silent or spoken out loud is only healthy, when it is positive. Kate, thank you for your reminder!
    Big Hugs, Lucy

  • Love this! And I enjoyed your Feng Shui posts which bring a whole new level of abundance. Looking forward to seeing more of your work in 2015. :-)

  • Rachel

    What’s awesome? I feel awesome possibility & personal power! I know 2014 has provided an amazing foundation upon which to build my business with specific intent in 2015, and like a pebble in a pond touch a widening circle of lives with hope, empowerment, possibility and leadership. The Feng Shui tips regarding desk position & clutter have been implemented to amplify the work.

  • Dot

    Hi Kate!
    I love reading your book and your blog!
    I have hairy cell leukemia but I’m in remission now. Focusing on eating right and exercising. I am feeling really good.

    I have a job that I love providing sign language interpreting. I like to learn at least one thing new every day!

    We need to be nicer to ourselves!

  • I just love that the sun comes up each morning to demonstrate just how much the universe cares…

  • Ellen

    I got dragged kicking and screaming into acknowledging three things I appreciate every day back in June, and now I can hardly relax at night until I have written them down.

  • I was just typing out my “Best Year Yet” work, when this came into my inbox! Thank you Kate – I love it! I do something similar – but this was just what I needed today.

    We are enjoying the village life and our school family that we have created. I have deepened my friendships, done more things for me, awoken my love of dance! Opened up to the possibility of a wonderful man in my life. Learnt to live a year without my fantastic dog, Leah. I have achieved things that scare me – what achievements!!

  • Jess

    Love this post. Thank you! 2014 was a year of personal growth. Fostering an attitude of gratitude has made me a better mother, wife, friend, nurse. Things that are great for me right now: a consistent yoga practice with an amazing teacher, a regular meditation practice, a gratitude journal, self care, living mindfully. Here’s to more awesome in 2015

  • Melissa

    What’s already going awesome in my life: I’ve got my office to 95% paperless! It was a goal I set in 2014 to reduce clutter and be more eco-friendly, and today I wrapped up the final few pieces. There’s some things I have to keep, but everything else got recycled, shredded (to then be recycled), scanned (then recycled!) or filed.

  • Miriam

    I have been expanded in many areas of my life resulting in my going on a pilgrimage in Spain. I know now that miracles happen every minute. We are blessed. We are loved. Everything is working out for us. We just have to be truly present to see this. I’m so thankful for all of the many ways my life in 2014 has opened me up.

  • Barbara

    2014 has been the most special and phantastic year for me, as in august my daughter Clara was born and now I am a mommy. I love this idea of the game, have to do this!!

  • My relationship with my hubby is going great in my life now. After nearly 12 years we are stronger than ever as couple. I cherish the connection, support and understanding we have & I trust that it will continue into 2015 and beyond. <3

  • As usual, this blog was ‘timely’ – and reaffirmed my own end of year routine – setting out to complete the ‘My Best Year Yet’ questions…I answered a few that are similar to yours…then set the book down; realizing that I did not need to delve further than what I had in those initial exercises. I am concentrating on the ‘accomplishments/what worked’ and expanding….I am proud of what I have done, the growth I have fostered and where I am ‘headed’….starting with resigning from my part time job on Monday….yikes….it is with trusting and with action that I welcome 2015!

  • I had been receiving this message to look at the great things in my life instead of focusing on what is frustrating, etc., for some time now. What is going great in my life right now? I have a beautiful family and great friends who love and encourage me. My income increased and I enjoyed for the first time in three years buying gifts for my family without worry or anxiety. All my bills are paid on time and my credit card balances are decreasing steadily. Even better, I manifested my 20 plus year dream of going to France and in that trip made some new terrific friends. I am so grateful for the abundance of blessings in my life.

  • […] >> Click here to read Ms. Northrup’s post, and let us know what you think in the Comments section! […]

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