posted by on Articles, Change habits, Endings, Know yourself, Self leadership


In December, we often look back on the year. What kind of year has it been for you? Did you manage to achieve all the things that you hoped to this year?  We may beat ourselves up for abandoned resolutions, half cocked plans and things that just did not happen. The end of the year can be an opportunity to make amends with yourself and move on.

For some people this may have been the year that it all happened for them, their dreams came true and they achieved the things that they wished for,  others  may have carried out one or two of the things that they wished for. According to statistics only one in five of us ever fulfils our New Year’s resolutions. Scarcely surprising, then, that looking back over the year can be a disheartening reminder of all the things that we have not done.

If we start the year with big expectations it is not hard to understand why so many of us end up feeling disappointed. The end of the year does offer the opportunity for reflection, but it is important to be kind to ourselves when we do this. Not to saddle ourselves with ‘should’ and ‘ought’s’.  Our natural tendency is to be critical of ourselves, this disables our ability to learn from the experience. We could take the opportunity to learn from the situation or to change our perspective on how we see the situation incorporating this new learning into our thinking.

In order not to get stuck in a negative cycle think of the positive things that have developed out of the situation. So if you are unhappy or regretting about not getting a new job, think about the positives aspects instead of the negative. Perhaps you have updated your CV or you have had more time to be with your family or focus on your social life. There is always a silver lining if we look hard enough. Dwelling on what might have been can pull us down into negative thinking.

Working out what it is that you really want is the key to your success not what we think others want us to do.  This may sound simple, but many people find it hard to work out what it is that they really want and never really ask themselves this question. A simple review can be really beneficial to help move you on if you really want to make changes. Noting down a few points list under two headings – What worked well (WWW) and Even Better If (EBI) is a quick and easy way to see how things have gone and what you have learned and what you may like to change for the future.

Remember that regret may be a signal that there is still chance to do something about your situation or to fix things. Regret loiters whenever there is still opportunity.

Gillian Kitchen  MA, ILM, is a personal & leadership coach. Find me on Twitter @changeagencynw   & LinkedIn