preparing for the new year

Preparing for the New Year

2021 has been a very interesting year. Let’s take a moment to reflect on the challenges we faced, the changes we made, and the lessons learned this year. 

 We all make a good number of mistakes each year. Imagine learning from them and avoiding repeating them. It’s not just your mistakes. It’s also all the things you tried that didn’t work, and the things you saw other people try that didn’t work. You also did a few things that worked out. Apply all of this knowledge you gained. Ideally, you would do this before setting your goals and plans for 2022. 

 We learn a great deal each year, let’s put it to good use. Make a commitment to yourself that this time, your preparation for the new year will be different.
new year resolutions

Photo by Polina Kovaleva from Pexels

Reflection Points 

Take a few days to review the last year. 

  • What did you learn, both positive and negative? What mistakes did you make? What were your biggest wins?  
  • Do you see a pattern to any of your mistakes? Can you see that many of your challenges are caused by committing the same mistakes year after year?
  •  Now, consider your friends and family. What challenges did they face? What were their successes? What can you learn from them? 
  •  Take the best and the worst from your past and learn from them. Make use of that information to enhance your life. 

Find alternatives to your least effective actions. Maybe you procrastinate too much or consistently show up to work late. What are the changes you want to make in the coming year? 

 Identify those behaviors that support your success. Perhaps you made your spouse feel loved and lost 25 pounds. Those are the type of behaviors you want to repeat.

Create new habits. Choose habits that will counteract your less-effective behaviors and ensure your positive behaviors occur more frequently. Using our examples: 

  •  Procrastination: Take immediate action when you know something needs to be done. Remind yourself of the pain procrastination has caused in the past and imagine how amazing it will feel to complete the task.
  • Late to work: Place your alarm on the other side of the room so you’re forced to get out of bed. Choose your clothes the night before. Commit to leaving the house in plenty of time. 
  •  Spouse: Spend 15 minutes each day doing something nice for your spouse. Remind yourself of what you love about them. 
  •  Lost 15 lbs: Continue making healthy food choices and working out three times each week. 

Monitor yourself. If you’re not careful, you’ll quickly slip back into your old patterns of behavior. Change is challenging, and you can expect to face a lot of internal resistance. Avoid being too hard on yourself when you slip. Just vow to redouble your efforts in the future! 

 Celebrate your successes. When you apply what you’ve learned from last year, you can expect some great things to happen. Appreciate them and be proud of yourself. This is the best way to ensure good things keep happening. Reinforce your behavior by feeling good about yourself.


Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

You’ve faced some tough times in the past. Take advantage of those challenges! You’ve had some good times, too. Repeat them in the future. Your past is the key to your future. Take what you’ve learned and leverage that experience in the future. It would be a shame to repeat your mistakes in the future. You can have the best year of your life, but not if you cannot learn from your experiences. Your results have lessons to teach. Are you paying attention? 

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 I hope you enjoyed this article. Please leave a comment or share it to help someone else through their journey with change. Is it time for you to pivot? Change can be difficult, but you don't have to walk that path alone. Subscribe to my newsletter to get inspired and take action towards becoming a better you.


  • A bit about me. I was born and raised in rural North Carolina, and currently call Virginia home. My birthdate says I'm a "boomer" but my heart and soul is much more "gen x". The adjectives that describe me best are writer, entrepreneur, and gamer (Yes, I love playing video games). What brings me the most joy? Spending time with my granddaughters.

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Hanna Long

Appreciate them and be proud of yourself – something I am planning to work on next year!


love all those planners, so cute! Thanks for the reminder to do a little reflection

Victoria Prasad

Find alternatives to your least effective actions. I absolutely love this!

Jenn Record

It is so important to think back and plan for the future.. I never give myself credit for what went right and celebrate my successes..thank you for the encouragement to do so.


Yes! Please acknowledge what you do that is right and celebrate success. It really does help when things seem like nothing is going right.

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