I have often found the end of the year and the beginning of the next one a bit of a downer. Have you?

I know I was busy. I am sure I accomplished something but I needed a tool that would help me really stop and think about what I did.

So, I created this tool that not only works for me but apparently works for others since every year about this time I receive requests to send it out.

 
 

What is this tool?

It’s a great group of questions to jar your memory and give yourself a pat on the back. Some of you will be surprised because you have been moving at such a fast pace that you have forgotten about many of the things you have done in the past year.

What’s wonderful about this list of questions is it will also remind you about new relationships and talents that weren’t even in your life a year ago. Isn’t that encouraging and exciting? Now you can look with anticipation about what new things will come into your life this year.

What are the five questions that can help you avoid falling into the trap of New Year’s resolutions?

What Was Your Biggest Triumph?

Maybe you went through a divorce, or a move, or a health issue. In those times, you feel like you are taking one day at a time. You are sure that you will never get to the other side. And yet, here you are.

You did it. And, I bet you have some wonderful lesson to share with others. Getting through made you wiser, more compassionate, and more empathetic. That is something you can share.

What Was the Smartest Decision You Made This Year?

Once you know what your own was, this is often a question I ask of others. It’s a great conversation starter. People like to brag about their smart decisions and I like to learn from that, don’t you?

What One Word Sums Up and Describes This Year’s Experience?

Now, you have to challenge yourself to look for more creative words than the usual ones picked. Really think about how that word is used and how others will visualize that word. It’s a fun exercise in wordsmithing!

What Are You Most Happy About Completing This Year?

Finishing something you started certainly affords you a pat on the back … if from no one else but yourself. It doesn’t have to be a degree either. Anything you finish – even a good book – counts!

What Important Relationships Improved the Most?

We are afforded the opportunity every day to mend or improve relationships. I know personally I was estranged from my brother for many years. It was a conscious choice due to some unflattering things he had done to myself and my family for years. That separation impacted my entire family. This went on for over 20 years.

And then last year one of my daughters said she was going to throw a family picnic and invite him and his family. I had months to prepare for that “confrontation” and his grown son gently nudged me occasionally, telling me his dad has changed.

When I saw him he opened his arms and quietly whispered, “I’d made a lot of mistakes, and I’m sorry.” That was all it took! We opened the doors to each other and have spent many times laughing about our childhood and teasing each other about those good ole days growing up. I can proudly say this is the most important relationship that improved this year!

Just take a minute to answer these five questions and I know you will be proud at what you accomplished in all the busy-ness of this year. Good job!

Here is a little video that I recorded to help you realize just how important you are!

What one of these five questions was most significant in your life this year? What one thing did you accomplish in 2016 that you feel proud about? What is your one word to sum up 2016? Please share with the Sixty and Me community.

Sheryl NicholsonSheryl Nicholson is an international professional speaker, author and podcaster known for her authenticity and results-oriented tips. She relates quickly to women and their real-life challenges at work and in their “love space.” Her work-life balance podcast is available on iTunes or here. She shares leadership tips at her website.

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