The Lumsdon family held one of our annual traditions of the holidays this weekend when we watched A Christmas Carol together. The tail of how the visit of three ghosts transforms Scrooge into a kinder, gentler and arguably richer and more successful businessman, is timeless. Charles Dickens’ book was first published on 19th December 1843 and shows how lessons from the past and visions of the future can create a brand new reality in the present.

While the process is unlikely to be as dramatic as that of Scrooge, the holiday season creates a similar opportunity for us to think about the events of the past year that will in turn help us plan for the year ahead and take time to be fully present with those we love.

As we direct our thoughts to the past year, here are just a few ways to help you make the most of the activity as we enter into the new year.

Thoughts of Christmas Past

Or more specifically, your ‘thoughts of the year just past’.

A powerful early question to ask yourself is “Did you make 2017 your greatest year yet?” Allow yourself some time to delve into your answer further. For many people a combination of successes and things that didn’t go as well will both crop up. Let’s take a moment on what is next for each.

What do we do with our successes?
Our lives seem ‘busier’ than ever these days and I think too many of us are guilty of squeezing the time we spend celebrating and learning from our successes. This is where some of the most important and real indicators of your future success will lie. Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Have you paused sufficiently to celebrate your achievement?
    (and help condition your mind to replicate your winning approach)
  • What is your winning formulae?
    (and make it easier to replicate your winning approach repeatedly)
  • Who contributed to your success and do they know they did?
    (and so they are motivated to do the same next year for you or someone else)

What about our failures or mistakes?
Whatever label you use for these, one thing I am certain about is how you choose to think about these events is key. Some of our biggest learning will come from our mistakes and some of our biggest opportunities come from the things that didn’t go to plan. We only have penicillin and post-it notes, for example, because of mistakes. In the words of William Shakespeare in Hamlet

“Why then, ’tis none to you, for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

It is the quality of our examination of these events that create the learning or opportunity. Re-examine a lingering ‘failure’ from the past and consider :

  •  What was your key focus or best intention at the time?
  •  What does that focus say about you?
  •  What will you do the same next time?
  •  What will you do differently from this moment before you move on?

While this article has focussed of the reflection of the previous year, let us close with some quick thoughts on the present and future.

Thoughts of Christmas Future

When we are driving and the road ahead is foggy, we slow down. The clearer it gets, the faster and more confidently we head to our destination. Use part of this holiday to start creating your own compelling vision for the year ahead and get really clear on what you want and how you will get it. Use the clues from your ‘Thoughts of Christmas Past’ to guide you. We will share a great deal more tips and ideas with you early in the new year.

Thoughts of Christmas Present

Whether this is time with your own family and friends or you are working over the festive period and so with colleagues, be present and stay in the moment with them. We hope you thoroughly enjoy this holiday period and hope 2018 is your most successful and enjoyable year ever.