23 Dec 2017 19:23 IST

2018: Creating the year you want

Reinforce tasks that will make you more productive

Yet another year has gone by. Time seems to accelerate as a person grows older. It feels as if I sat down to pen my thoughts about 2017 just a short while ago. However, in reality, 12 months have whizzed by. As we age, responsibilities, tasks and various demands on us also increase. This could possibly be one of the reasons why time appears to accelerate with age.

Another reason could be that a person tends to focus more on the things that need to be done: tasks that are pending and plans for the future.

The biggest casualty of this approach is the complete lack of introspection. Everyone is busy looking at the future, meanwhile, many valuable lessons and experiences from the past get left behind and are forgotten. This often leads to situations where the same or similar mistakes are repeated in the future.

In preparation

My suggestion for 2018 would be to forget the coming year and what it might hold for you. Instead, try this simple exercise as the old year comes to an end.

Take a plain piece of paper and list 10 of your best achievements of 2017. These could pertain to your personal life, relationships, professional life, academics, or anything else (any instance when you felt a sense of satisfaction and happy about having done something qualifies). Take another piece of paper and list the instances where you have experienced a sense of failure or frustration. Many will find it easier to list the negative instances while convincing themselves that nothing positive happened over the past 365 days. This delusion is nothing more than a personal constraint.

Once you have lists of the best and worst moments of the year, think back in great detail with regard to each of these instances. Relive them and, while doing so, keep thinking about the lessons you can learn from each of them. Also, try to examine if the positive experiences could have been further improved and the negative ones minimised or avoided. The important thing is to do this in a relaxed manner.

You will hopefully have a list of things that you can work on to improve yourself and enhance your skills by the end of the exercise. Put a deadline against each one of these, make copies of this list and carry a copy in your wallet, paste one inside your wardrobe, and save the deadlines in your phone calendar with reminders. The idea is that you see the list at least once a day. You’ll be surprised by how many of these tasks can be completed or solved just by writing them down!

Working for the best

The most important part of the exercise is to plan for occasions — moments that will repeat themselves, such as birthdays and anniversaries — with the objective of improving the experience. Write these down as well. You will have something positive to look forward to, especially during tough situations. Use these plans as motivation to get past any situation.

Hopefully, when 2018 whizzes past and you are wondering where the year went by, there will be more instances of positive memories. This will be possible because you would have worked to make it happen.

Wish you a very Happy New Year and best wishes for 2018!

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