Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018!

As the end of another year approaches many people start to think about what they want to create for the coming year.  Looking back and reflecting on your last year will help you to move forward in the right direction. This is an important annual ritual for many of the following reasons:

  • In order to embrace the new, we must release the old. As we move forward in life, we need to let go of some things in order to have the space for new stuff to show up. Our movement forward can be slowed down by our loose ends.
  • Affirms learning.When we take time to review our key learning, it helps to entrench that learning within our brain. Repetition and reward help to strengthen neural pathways, and will increase the likelihood of creating healthy habits
  • Confirms direction. To get to where we want to go, we have to slow down and get our location to make sure we are headed in the right direction. As we move towards our dreams and goals, direction is often far more important than speed.
  • Chance to disrupt confirmation bias. Confirmation bias is when we believe the world is a certain way and only look for evidence to support those beliefs. I hear so many people at the end of the year saying “Hope next year is better than this one. I can’t wait for this year to be over.” Is every year really that bad? Snap out of Eeyore mode and complete the highlights portion and see that great things also happened even if the year was challenging.
  • Gratitude and Law of attraction. Gratitude increases our overall joy and life satisfaction. The Law of Attraction states that we attract more of what we focus on, so focusing on our wins and being grateful for them increases our likelihood of creating more of the same.
  • Enhance your relationship with yourself. When we take time for ourselves, we affirm our value. We can move forward with more self knowledge, a deeper understanding of ourselves and deep sense of our own worth.
  • Consciously plan for your next year!Now that you have evaluated what’s working and what isn’t, what do you want your next year to be about?

Use these two pages as a guide to complete and celebrate the end of the year and create an intention for what you want in the coming year.

What would you do if you could predict the outcome?

Excitement and fear produce the same physiological response in the body. So how do I determine if I am excited or scared? We will choose to feel excitement if we can predict the outcome. If I know that when I get on the roller coaster that eventually I will return safely to the platform, then I may feel excitement.

It is often when I am doing something that I have never done before (and therefore not sure of the expected outcome) that I feel fear and anxiety.

An amazing group of individuals in my last workshop (the Advancement of Excellence) decided to take on the Grouse Grind during the program. Many of those who participated had never accomplished this difficult hike before. There was tremendous support for each other, and no one was left behind.

I have heard people say that they will do “x” once they have the confidence and are ready to do it. The problem is that confidence comes from action, from doing. I can’t have confidence in something until I have actually done it. I am sure that if some of them had waited to hike the Grind until they felt “ready to do it”, that they would still be waiting.

I am incredibly proud of their accomplishment, and what I am more astonished by is what has happened since. Over half of them have returned to do it again, to beat their time, and some have done it multiple times! Once they knew the expected outcome (that they would finish) they had the confidence to do it again, to push their comfort zone and self-limitations even further.

It was because of this example of courageous individuals that I was inspired to take on the Great GG myself. I have lived in the Lower Mainland my entire life, and I had always been scared of the hike, thinking it was too tough, that it was only for people in great shape. I decided to take on the principle of expected outcome. I was nervous the day before, and I chose to believe that no matter what, I would complete the hike. This really changed things for me. Was it tough? Absolutely. Did I have a few choice words along the way? For sure. Did I ever think of turning around? No.

So what would you do if you made the decision to take action and predict the outcome?

Christina Bianchini is a Registered Professional Counsellor and workshop facilitator.