As 2021 comes to a quick close, many of us are filled with excitement for 12 new months ahead. We house strong intentions to make this year better than ever with new targets and bigger goals. But what fuels this excitement?

I’d say off and on for most of November I was not feeling well physically. I won’t bore you with the details but it did include some All too often we think about what could lie ahead, and forget to absorb the good and bad moments that have made us who we are today. These are opportunities and lessons we can reflect on, so we know what to do or what not to do to achieve success in the new year.

Reflecting on what you took from the past year is the best way you can prepare to make the coming year even better.

A few years ago, I started this powerful tradition of reflection; I open my beautiful paper planner, grab my laptop and cell phone for pictures, light a seasonally scented candle, and pour myself a hot cup of tea. I revisit my memories, achievements, and regrets as I slowly flip through the pages of my year.

Whether I experienced successes beyond my wildest dreams or became a stronger person from the hardships I endured, I find lessons from my failures and decide what achievements I want to celebrate and anchor as powerful memories for the future.

This year was considerably empowering as I worked to understand how the pandemic has affected me, my family, and my clients. I managed to resume travel with 12 new adventures–two of which were solo trips with my mask, testing kits, and plenty of disinfectants. That challenged me to work on the embodiment and intuitive work without resorting to the comfort of escaping to my cell phone. I stayed in my body more than I ever have before and recognized patterns of behavior. 

It’s human nature (although, fixable) to get hit by the lows instead of proud of the highs, which leads us to focus on the goals we didn’t achieve and the events that brought us negative emotions.

I would invite you to open your journal and write all the things you’re grateful for the past year. Start each sentence with “I am grateful for…”

Gratitude is the single most powerful tool that will help you realistically appreciate your year.

I felt a rush of gratitude as I looked through the pictures of my beautiful girls, who have grown so much–one who has started driving and the other who worked through inevitable fears of starting a new school sport and had to navigate the difficulties of adolescent friendships.

At the conclusion of my reflection, l create space for new experiences and shed the things that are no longer serving me well. Some things just go wrong, loved ones fall ill, friend part company, we fall in proverbial holes. Recognizing what isn’t working is very positive. Ask yourself, “What am I holding onto from the past 12 months that no longer brings me joy?”

Now, say this out loud…

It is time to release the things that bother me, framing them as goals to work towards in 2022.

I will relinquish the need to control situations and lead with more openness and curiosity.

I will allow pleasure, rather than pressure, to direct and motivate me.

I will understand and listen to my body before making decisions, leaving behind the inherent habit of analyzing and overthinking. 

I will not feel guilty for saying “No.”

Once I have taken a moment to sit and reflect, the door to 2021 can be closed.

Breathe in, breathe out… You got this!

If you are planning on one-upping what was a brilliant year or turning a shit-storm into something more manageable, I invite you to a connection call with me. I would love to support you in 2022!

Have a great holiday!

Mind Your Strength,

Melanie Shmois

Melanie Shmois, MSSA, LISW-S

Melanie Shmois, MSSA, LISW-S, is a licensed social worker, holding a Master’s Degree (MSSA) from Case Western Reserve University and a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Spanish. After spending 2 decades helping others achieve their mental and personal goals, Melanie worked with Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo, and became a certified Life and Weight Coach through the Life Coach School.

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