Point to Ponder:
Have you taken the time to say “thank you” for all that 2016 gave you?
The night before the kids and I left San Diego to spend the holidays in Texas, I drove and walked around our neighborhood delivering Christmas goodies. Amidst the deliveries, I also contemplated my “going out of town for two and a half weeks” to-do list, which loomed heavily over my head. I also felt overwhelmed by everything that I had to get done between then and our 6:30 a.m. flight while also feeling resentful that I was living so far from my family, Christmas is no longer easy and once again I was traveling by myself with Durant (5 yrs) and Malaine (3 yrs). This is no fault of Russell’s (my husband), it’s just the nature of his job and our life.
As I drove, eager to check off items on my list, I tried numbing my to-do’s by listening to Christmas music and looking at all of the decorated houses. While my hopeful distraction did work (kind of), I still felt pretty sorry for myself until I clued into the significance of what I was doing. Unlike one year ago, I actually have friends to deliver Christmas goodies to and I have relationships with our neighbors! Having moved to San Diego last August, last year I didn’t have any friends in our neighborhood to deliver Christmas goodies too. What a difference a year makes?! I must admit, I did feel a bit like a 7th grader who was so thankful to finally have friends, but none-the-less, this was a big moment and one that I would for sure acknowledge, give thanks for and celebrate in the New Year– before going into goal and planning mode for 2017.
Two years ago, my business coach and iGnite member Martha Lynn Mangum taught me this very valuable celebration exercise. It is exactly as it sounds, which is before setting off to accomplish new goals for 2017, we must first take the time to say “thank you” to 2016 and celebrate all of the goodness and blessings from the previous year. A new year is always very exciting and it’s human nature to want to move forward rather than look back, but in this instance, it’s necessary. Really, it’s the power of gratitude and the law of attraction. The more we say “thank you”, celebrate and count our blessings, the more readily they will flow in our life.
And, if you have a terrible memory like I do and can barely remember what you ate for breakfast, remembering one whole year’s worth of celebratory material is impossible. However, because every single one of us have a smart phone, a day planner and pictures on social media, it’s a cinch to walk down 2016’s memory lane and see all of the fun, blessings, accomplishments, and successes (big and small) that occurred in our life.
To go one step further, unlike the past two years when recommending this exercise, this year I encourage you to also celebrate the painful, challenging and bitter moments (as mentioned in the quote), as they have helped shape you into who you are today, which has prepared you for what’s to come. This is also something that Martha has helped me see and do — rather than get frustrated and then dwell on situations or even people who challenge me, I’m learning to say “thank you” to them, as they are developing my character and enhancing my growth.
So, let’s do this by setting aside time to focus on all of the goodness and celebratory moments from 2016 and write them down on this simple printable. Celebrating, saying “thank you” and writing down the information is the best and most productive formula for saying goodbye to 2016 and welcoming in brand new year–your blank and full of potential canvas!