Can you believe it? We’re officially in a new year, and I don’t need to tell you what a wild, crazy year 2020 was. Yeah, I know, that’s an understatement.

But, let’s turn that feeling of doom and gloom around right now.

My new calendar/planner came the other day and I am excited to crack it open and start my planning for this year. The blank pages remind me that anything is possible. Or, to say it another way, the possibilities are limitless.

But before I started filling in the blank pages in my new planner, I had a few more things to do in my old one to end the year intentionally and with the right mindset for beginning a new one. 

I don’t know about you, but my ole ego is in overdrive right now, insisting I dwell on the things I didn’t get done or things I couldn’t do because of circumstances beyond my control. I’m resisting that urge.

Instead, I’m taking inventory of the last year and reflecting on what I accomplished and what went well. I know that by doing so, I can gain valuable insights that will help me open my new planner and map out my best year possible based on the successes I had this year.

I encourage you to do the same. Focus on the positive things that happened in your life this past year. Inventory and reflect on your 2020 using 4 simple steps.

  1. Review Notes

I love putting pencil to paper and it definitely shows in my journals and planner. I’ll review each page of my 2020 planner because it’s a great way to remind myself of personal and business events and accomplishments—big and small. I find that sometimes the big events (whether good or bad) drown out the things we do every day to move us closer to our dreams and goals. In the end, those baby steps are very important and in my experience after reflection, I often realize I had taken more steps than I thought and was further ahead than I thought. What a way to shift your mindset from one of regrets or scarcity to one of abundance!

  1. Reflect

Now it’s time for reflection. These questions help get the conversation in your head started.

  • What was the best thing that happened? There’s always something that makes the year unforgettable. What was it?
  • What was your biggest win this year? The year wasn’t perfect. It never will be. But, it wasn’t all bad (even though some days it felt like it). So remember to give yourself a pat on the back for the wins you did have.
  • What did you enjoy doing this year? Look back on what brought you joy because you’ll definitely want to take that into your new year.
  • What was the one thing or who was the one person you are most grateful for? Too often we forget to pause and reflect on all we have to be grateful for in our lives. If this wasn’t part of your daily routine in 2020, please be sure it is in 2021.
  • What was your biggest regret, and why? Let’s face it. We all have them. But instead of letting them wear you down, try facing them head on. Use them as a learning experience, a way to grow personally or professionally, in a positive way. When you do, you’ll be less likely to repeat them.
  • What’s one thing that changed about yourself? Most people fear change; but there’s tremendous freedom in knowing we are not obligated to be the same person we were last decade, last year or even yesterday. The possibilities are limitless!
  • If you could go back to January 1, 2020, what would you tell yourself? What lesson did you learn that you wish you could have known before it happened? One of my lessons was to live in the moment, and be comfortable with “the pivot” so I could take advantage of the exciting future that unfolded during 2020 in spite of all the negativity swirling around me.
  1. 2020 Achievements

I like to write about my achievements right after they happen and I include enough detail to learn from my success so that I can make it happen again. Try it. Let me know how it works for you.

  1. End Your Year Intentionally

Celebrate your wins because that will drown out any feelings of regret. Make peace with yourself. None of us will ever be the best version of ourselves because no one is perfect. Just acknowledge mistakes, learn from them and try not to repeat them. Stop dwelling on what went wrong or what didn’t go as planned, forgive yourself and move on. Know you can change. In fact, let me encourage you to embrace change because that’s when the magic will start to happen.

Now, go out there and make 2021 truly amazing. I know you can do it and I believe you will.