I’ve learned over the years that while it can be easy to set goals for the future (2011), it’s just as important to commemorate and celebrate all we did in the past (2010).  I first heard of this idea from Cheryl Richardson, author of “Stand Up for Your Life,” five years ago and have been doing it ever since. Look back first, commemorate & celebrate yourself…and then set your goals for 2011.

What does this do?

  1. It helps us remember the years as they fly by… and they’re going faster and faster, don’t you think? I remember last year when I did my “2009 Highlights” and then looked back at my 06, 07 and 08 highlights, I said to myself, “I did that? Wow, I totally forgot about that!”
  2. It pats YOU on the back and helps you realize how much you DID do, even if there are still many things you want to accomplish in 2011.  It puts you in a “grateful” state of mind, rather than a “guilt-full” state of mind for anything that you didn’t accomplish.  And which is a better state of mind to set goals/enter 2011 in?  We have LOTS of time to accomplish all we what we want to do and it’s so important to recognize ALL that you did do last year. When you look at what you DID do and then set your goals from that mental state, you’ll feel empowered, excited and positive.
  3. It helps you “close” 2010 and embark with renewed energy for 2011. Energetically this is very powerful….

So what is the best way to do this?

  1. Use the simple categories below to jot down the highlights of last year. Feel free to add or eliminate any categories applicable to the life you want to create – these are just the ones I use.  Cut and paste them into a word document.  You can do this NOW very briefly to get you going – don’t think, just write down 1-2 things in each category that come to mind – go back and fill in more later.
  2. Have fun with it – do it yourself or with family, a significant other, partner, etc.  This is a great thing to teach children* as well – to remember, celebrate…and then set goals.
  3. Celebrate ALL that you did and then set your goals in using the same/and or additional categories.  SAVE both documents for future reference.
  4. Enjoy! I love doing this every year…one of my favorite things to do between Christmas and New Year’s!

2010 Highlights (then I do the same for my 2011 Goals)

  • Purpose
  • Business/Work
  • Fitness
  • Health
  • Nutrition
  • Zumba Classes
  • Personal Development
  • Spirituality
  • Finances
  • Home/Location
  • Friends
  • Family
  • Charity/Giving Back
  • Travel
  • Fun stuff
  • Cultural
  • Material
  • New Restaurants
  • New Books
  • Accomplishments & Achievements
  • Things I’ve learned

*One the most significant events in my childhood was hearing a 50 year old man speak about setting 100 goals, and that by 50 years old, he had achieved 80% of those goals he had written down as a young man.  I have been writing down goals ever since then and it has helped create my whole life.  Goal setting is so important and should be taught in schools.  It’s not, so it is something we need to teach the upcoming generation.

P.S. For those of you who have been doing this with me for the past few years… here is something I received last year from a Cheryl Richardson email, which can add another element to the exercise.  For new Live Well Members and Clients – just do the 1st exercise and then add on if you like :-)

Excerpts from “Bon Voyage 200_!”  by Cheryl Richardson

  1. If you had to pick a theme of growth for 200_, what would it be?  What did you most need to learn?  What changes have you made that let you know you got the lesson?
  2. What one thing are you still beating yourself up about?  Are you ready to do what it takes to put an end to this hurtful behavior?  Okay, then.  What do you need to do right now to get started?
  3. What did you accomplish last year that made you feel good about yourself and how did you celebrate?  If you didn’t celebrate, what will you do this week?
  4. How was 200_ perfect for you?  What happened, good or bad, that forced you to wake up and see your life with clarity and truth?
  5. Finally, as you think back over the last year, take some time to think about the people who influenced your growth – the ones who hurt you and the ones who supported you – and, in your own private way, thank them for their contribution to your life.  Get ready for a “Mighty Fine 2011!”

Take Action Challenge:

Between Christmas and New Year’s, or over the next week, while things are still fairly quiet and calm, take some time to answer the above questions in a notebook or journal.  Use this ritual as an opportunity to say goodbye to the past and hello to a bright new year.

Be Happy…Be Vibrant…


Carmen xo

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