In order to get the most from 2022, I recommend a process of reflection that starts with the following questions. There are other layers to add to this but if you can start with these insights and then turn them into goals and action steps, you will be best positioned to address your obstacles and the mistakes you made this year.
I’m not being negative here; I’m really referring to the fact that 95% of the things we do are done subconsciously, so you want to stop and look for those things before you unwittingly keep on doing them. And, because we are all imperfect human beings, the fastest way to grow is to address your biggest obstacles AND build on your greatest strengths.
Step one is awareness: know yourself better.
1. What do you want to leave behind you in 2021 that does not serve you anymore? (This could be anything from an emotion, a state of mind, an unempowering habit, a person, or a task within your business)
The best place to start is areas of your life: health, professional, finance, relationships, spiritual, etc. Unfortunately, we tend to label ourselves differently in different areas, e.g. good at work but not very healthy; good at getting along with people but shaky on finances, etc.
a) Don’t believe your hype. Write out your current beliefs. To do this, just look at your results – that’s where you find your beliefs. They are self-fulfilling prophecies. Then remind yourself the past is OVER.
Write out the beliefs that will serve you from now on. What do you want to believe? Only the highest achievers and those who study them know that you can believe anything you want.
The key is: don’t listen to the inner talk that will burst out right away afterward screaming: “But that’s not ME! Don’t you like ME? That’s what makes you so UNIQUE! You’ve always been like this etc!!!” = the ego voice that talks you out of actually fulfilling your potential.
b) Write out your sabotaging, unempowering habits (presumably for areas where your results are disappointing) – the ones that take you one step back and/or make you feel bad about yourself. The ones that are not really congruent with your mission statement and/or purpose in life.
You rationalize them like a top legal or marketing team with the “I deserve it”, “it will reduce my stress”, “I’ve earned it,” “it’s only….”, or “lots of people do this.”
And that’s just it. 95% DO do these things. But if you want what the 5% have, you have to do what the 5% do whether you feel like it or not.
I’m not talking about trying too hard or trying to be perfect. I’m talking about unhelpful eating habits, spending habits, activities that cause your next workday to be mediocre, and emotional reactions you have that are disproportionate to the trigger because of past unresolved upset.
c) As a catch-all, try Brian Tracy’s exercise: “If I were to start my life over today knowing what I know now, what would it look like? What would I start doing? What would I no longer do? Who would I spend more time with? Who would I no longer spend time with?”
2. What went sideways in 2021 – something that didn’t work or that you were fearful about?
It’s highly unlikely that everything you set to do this year worked like a charm – unless your targets ended up being too low or you had an unusual amount of good fortune.
It is a cliché, but the wisest people throughout history have consistently said that we learn most not from the smooth periods of our life, but from our challenges. When I make a mistake repeatedly, it’s no surprise I feel like a fool. I was sleepwalking through life at that moment.
What didn’t work out very well this year?
What do you think you were scared to lean into?
(Note! Fear screams loudest when we are closest to our goals and dreams)
What did you learn from these things?
a) Almost everything in your life is something you have attracted, chosen, or allowed.
Everything that is in your life is something to accept and grow from. You don’t have to keep living with it but don’t resist or deny what is real.
b) Then take responsibility for it. Do your best to address it.
c) And detach from your efforts.
3. What DID work in 2021?
Just start a brief list the first time around because usually the first best and most impactful lessons come from pain (remember, if you’ve always been strong in one area, focusing on that first is almost an excuse to keep avoiding the biggest obstacles to your greatest outcomes).
As before, to identify what went well, it’s easiest to start with areas of your life such as health, professional and relationships, etc., and then drill down. Go deeper on this section later.
4. Who do you NOT want to be in 2022?
I want to repeat, I’m not being negative on purpose. What I DO want for you is to face your demons so 2022 can be a breakthrough year for you. If you’ve always been in good physical shape, working on more health goals is a very comfortable zone for you. No breakthrough.
You’ve got to do the uncomfortable 4% almost every day if you want to be in the top 5% so start with reflecting on the type of person you do NOT want to be. Examples might include: scared, intimidated, low in confidence, disorganized, overly people-pleasing, scattered, or inconsistent.
5. Who DO you want to become in 2022? (What type of person…)
NOW we get to start steering the ship in the direction of a breakthrough in 2022.
Now you have good clarity about your trials and tribulations from 2022 or simply your next Achilles Heel or skillset to improve on, you can start taking action on a legitimate growth trajectory.
I love prefacing every example of the identity you want to live into as ‘increasingly’ (e.g.) bold, consistent, effective at prospecting, etc. because your brain can buy into this so long you DO something to prove this to be true.
You could be really out of shape but if each day you are getting a little more exercise, eating something healthier, and/or gradually improving your sleep habits, you can succeed at shifting how you see yourself so you can change more easily.
This is the start I suggest for preparing well for next year. First, you must get your head in the right place with a clear picture of WHO you want to become.
You may brainstorm several answers to this question. Work only on TWO at a time (regardless of how high of an achiever you are!), otherwise, you will chase too many rabbits and catch none.
I truly hope you find this process as helpful as I do and my clients do.
To facing the demons and realizing they are paper tigers!
Founder & President
Matt Anderson International
1177 Oak Ridge Drive, Glencoe, IL 60022, USA
Phone: +001 (312) 622-3121