“Remember, there are no mistakes, only lessons. Love yourself, trust your choices and everything is possible.” – Cherie Carter Scott from the book One Choice

I hope you and yours had a great Christmas!   Now that it is behind us, our thoughts naturally turn to what lies ahead of us.

Each January presents you with a precious opportunity to wipe the slate clean and create a fresh start for your life! Whatever happened this year — for good and for bad – will not define your NEW year. Your beliefs, expectations and the actions you take today will determine how your TOMORROW goes.

In my 11+ years as a professional Coach, I have been blessed to help over 550 clients reach their Big Goals, so I know what it will take to make your next year turn out even better than this one did. Creating your 2016 YOUR way requires a two-step process and this week that bridges the old year and the new one is the ideal time to do it:

Step One: Complete the Old Year. You can’t create something NEW in a space that is full of old stuff. So, if you want 2016 to be more than just a replay of the same things you experienced this year, you must first complete your old year to make space for your new intentions.

The Reflections Exercise

A great “completion” process is simply to sit quietly and answer a series questions that make you think deeply about the outcomes of your past year – the good, the bad and the ugly. Answering them honestly will clarify your underlying beliefs, expectations, attitudes and actions that influenced the results you got.

At the end of every year, my coaching colleague, Sue Koch, and I give our clients a thought-provoking list of 30 questions we call the Reflections Exercise to answer.

This exercise is designed to help you look objectively at what you did (and didn’t) do which influenced what happened for you last year. Determining accurately what caused your past outcomes helps you to identify new ways of thinking and being that will cause you to take NEW actions. Taking new actions will bring you new results, while continuing on “auto-pilot” inside of the same thought and behavior patterns pretty much guarantees that next year is going to bring you more of the same.

Here are a few of the thought-provoking “completion” questions we include:

Part 1 – Questions to Complete the Year

  • What promises did I break to myself and others in 2015?
  • What did I do that did not work out?
  • What do I wish I hadn’t wasted my time and energy on?
  • What do I wish I HAD expended my energy and time on but didn’t?

Part 2 – Questions for Acknowledgment and Acceptance

  • What promises did I keep to myself and others in 2015?
  • What accomplishments and milestones am I celebrating?
  • What is the biggest lesson I learned? What’s important about the lesson?
  • What am I thankful for regarding this year?

Once you have completed the 20 questions in these first two sections, you are ready to take on Part 3 – Questions for Creating Your New Year, including:

  • What do I intend to do differently in 2016?
  • What new skills or practices do I intend to put into place next year? How would that make me feel?
  • What would I most like to learn or master?  How would that make me feel?
  • What do I intend to accomplish next year that will matter most five years from now?

NOTE: This not the COMPLETE list of questions. Done right, the entire Reflections Exercise takes most people about two hours, but it can be broken up into several sessions – one sitting per section works great. You do not have to answer every question, but do focus on the ones that are most relevant to you and take an honest look, so your next year can be even better!

Click here or copy this into your browser to get the entire Reflections Exercise for powerfully completing your old year: http://wp.me/pttZj-j4

NEXT WEEK I will share with you my all-time favorite method for co-creating your NEW year with God/the Universe exactly as you would like it to be. It’s a great adjunct to the Reflections Exercise. I have loved doing it for myself at the start of every January for the past 11 years and I know you will too!

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching! It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached! And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift!

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call toll-free 888-503-8145.