Before you celebrate the new year, celebrate the old one

Like flowers, conventions enrich your year.

As we enjoy the holidays, I’m taking time this week to review the past year. Can you find an hour or two to do the same? It should encourage you and help you prepare for the months ahead.

First, if you have a list of goals for the year, review them. No written goals? Mentally review how you were aiming to help you family with this academic year. Consider the focus of your homeschooling. (Sign up for my newsletter for help on writing your goals for your child, coming early 2016.)

As you review your goals, ask yourself:

  • How’s it going?
  • Were some goals unrealistic? Which ones?
  • What goals did you not reach?

Look at the goals where you made partial progress. Make a list. Celebrate those successes. If you’re a praying parent, thank God for that progress. Enjoy those steps, however small they seem.

Second, stop and appreciate what’s been accomplished. Smell those roses. 

Don’t sit and beat yourself up for what you didn’t do.

Don’t rush into new year’s resolutions.

Cherish your accomplishments. Maybe the accomplishment is that you’re alive, that you kept going.

What can you congratulate your child on doing? Praise their perseverance, courage, kindness, whatever virtues you see. Can’t see their virtues yet? Be patient. Remind yourself of what you were like at that age. (If you need help, ask your parents, or a trusted old friend.)

Michael Hyatt writes for business leaders, but some of his ideas are good for parents in the home, too. I like this piece on “Seven Questions to Ask About Last Year.”

What you tell yourself about your life affects how it will go, and how much you’ll like it. Shall I say, “I had to cook this Christmas, and I really missed  my daughter”? Or shall I say, “We had a simple, pleasant meal at home this Christmas. I missed my daughter, but she sent us lots of photos and texts from across the country. I’m so glad we visited her earlier this year, and I’m glad her in-laws get to see our amazing grandchild.” Being aware of the “narrator” in your head, deciding if it’s a helpful narrative, and more on this I learned from Michael Hyatt’s recent podcast “Change your story, change your life.” There you can download a transcription, watch a video, or listen.

What tools help you review the past year? Please give your suggestions in the comments section below.

Happy new year.

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