Do you approach the New Year with anticipation or uncertainty?

How do you face the New Year? With anticipation and enthusiasm or with regrets for a lack of achievement in the old year?

Until two years ago, I always found the last few days of the old year and the first few of the new, a disconcerting and unbalanced, time. As if I was torn between letting go of the old with its unfinished business, and embracing the new with all its promises, hopes and uncertainties.

The change in routine over the holiday period, less time working, the stress of Christmas shopping (which I always left to the last minute) and in my case, remembering the loss of my father in tragic circumstances on 31 December 1979, all added to this feeling of aprehensive transition.

What changed? Firstly, the realisation that my father would not have wanted me to be miserable over what should be a joyous holday period. By remembering our time together, his courage, his values and the lessons he taught me, I have now let go of my end of year sadness.

Secondly, one of my mentors introduced me to the idea of “archiving” the year nearing completion, as a foundation for setting my goals for the New Year.

For the last two years, I have taken a day during this holiday week to do this exercise. Here is how I do it;

I keep a fairly detailed daily diary or journal, I also track all my important business activities, new contacts, new customers, sales, meetings, networking and internet activities, how many times I have ridden my horses, how they have improved over the year, how many times have I expanded my comfort zone in my business, personal, social and recreational life. What new things have I done. Seminars and webinars I have attended, books I have read, new skills I have aquired or improved.

This week, I analysed all of these and listed my achievements and disappointments, it’s amazing how the first list is so much longer than the second. It’s only after doing this exercise that I realise that depsite the earlier feeling that I did not achieve enough, I did achieve many of my goals, and the disappointments were fewer than I thought.

Then I look at how I limited myself during the year, what I have learned from the exercise and how I can improve in the New Year.

Finally, I print it all out, put it in a folder and file it away. The physical act of filing it away clears any lingering disappointments, should any of these start to surface again in the new year, I remind myself that they have been archived, I picture the red folder marked “Archives 2009” in the filing cabinet and that does the trick.

Then I write out my goals for the new year and my vision statement.

Here are 2 sites I found that are great time savers;

Tweetminer A very useful tool for importng content and posting tweets to twitter.

Gizapage a great way to let all your contacts find all your social media sites on one url.

Disclosure: I am not an affiliate for either, do not earn commissions for referring them, just find them good.

Wishing you a wonderful and wildly successful New Year and success in all your endeavours.

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  2 comments for “Do you approach the New Year with anticipation or uncertainty?

  1. December 31, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Helpful post, Peter. Thinking of you today and your father and all that he gave you. Happy that you can now celebrate the time that you had together and his legacy for you. Without knowing him and what gifts he passed to you, I know you are passing along your gifts to many, including me. Happy New Year!

  2. January 3, 2010 at 3:00 am

    Good article, lots of intersting things to digest. Very informative

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