Can you believe this is the day after Christmas? In a sense 2015 was a blur of months, but in another very real sense, 2015 seemed like the bad dream that would never end. Not sure how your year added up, but mine was a strange mix of wins, defeats, and question marks. Laughed a lot, had some amazing experiences, met great people, all while scratching my head. Honestly, I’m not real sure how I feel about the first 51 weeks, but I want to end with a win. So, how do you and I insure 2015 is a success? And, not just a success, but a massively, epic, wild success? And, how can we do it in just 1 week? Assuming you’re reading this on December 26, you really have 5 working days, so let’s break it down.
1. CREATE A YEARBOOK. Make a list of every significant event of 2015. That includes people you’ve met, changes in relationships, conferences you’ve attended, new businesses, all financial highlights and lowlights, date nights, anything significant. To make a good list, start with January using your calendar, Facebook, Instagram, etc. If you have a partner, it would be great to build two lists together and help jog one another’s memory. You can also attach pictures to events to make them come alive. Attach that selfie from your birthday party and make this list a yearbook.
Finally, color-code your yearbook by highlighting “Wins” and “Losses”. For example, wins can be blue and losses red. Define wins anyway you wish, but to me, a win is simply something I feel good about and a loss is something I don’t feel great about. Now you have a yearbook complete with all significant stories of 2015, some pictures that bring them to life, all color-coded. You’ll use your yearbook this week, but you’ll also have a digital keepsake to smile back on years down the road.
2. CELEBRATE THE WINS. Take a full day to celebrate every win. You want to embrace all the good that happened in 2015 and there is probably a lot more than you initially realized. A great way to celebrate is to visit your list and write down why each event was a win, how it made you feel, and what you learned from it. Take some time and dig deep into those special moments. Think about every aspect of that night, that decision that turned out great. Relive it. And, make certain you bring those feelings and lessons into your new year. Another great idea is to create feelings of gratitude over every win even it it means writing a simple “Thank You” to someone that was involved. It’s amazing how a grateful heart can turn any year into a success.
3. TURN THE LOSSES INTO WINS. A loss is only a defeat if you don’t learn anything. We need losses. They sting, but they help us right the course, they startle us out of mediocrity, and they have the potential to be seeds of future wins. Go to your yearbook and beside each “Loss” add why you lost. Add how it made you feel, what you learned, and what you can do differently next time. Be honest. Brutally honest. Take in the discouragement. You just entered a diamond mine of potential and you want to excavate every gem. You can forever change the course of your life simply by creating a systematic process of turning losses into wins. Remember, you will always have losses, its how you approach them that matters.
4. BUILD YOUR DREAM 2016. Call it a dream-board, vision-board, but have fun designing your dream year. There are thousands of great resources on goal-setting and I recommend finding a plan to stick with. Your dream 2016 should include monthly and annual goals from every part of your life: Health, finances, spirituality, family, relationships, emotions, and mentality. Make it your dream year! Why not? How do you want to feel on December 26, 2016? What kind of wins do you want to celebrate? Where will you be? What does it feel like? Who is there with you? You’re not forecasting far into the distance, so you’re setting actual goals you fully intend to hit. But, approach those goals with faith knowing anything is possible. Your life can look completely different this time next year. Dream about it. And, turn those dreams into goals.
5. PLAN YOUR GREATEST YEAR EVER. To turn those goals into reality you must have a good system. Without a daily management system your goals simply become regrets at the end of next year. I recommend finding a personal management system that drives you to align every goal with your daily activities. You should know what activities give you the best results, what activities you should delete, what habits and disciplines to follow to create your dream 2016. Be sure to factor in your 2015 wins and losses. Remember what you learned, how you felt, and bring those valuable lessons into this new opportunity.
2015 was a mixed bag for me, but I’m determined to make it a wild success. You can, too. No matter what you went through, regardless of how deep the valleys were, you can look back on this year and know you became better. Smarter. Stronger. Over the next few days you can make 2015 a wild success, so go for it. And, I can’t wait to celebrate with you this time next year.