It is likely that you can recall past actions that would make you wince and utter the words “I wish I hadn't...”
These can include comments you made on Facebook, arguments you had to win or promises you failed to keep, no matter what the cost and who may have been hurt in the process.
These may not have been your finest moments, but you shouldn’t dismiss them because incidents like these give people an opportunity to consciously decide whether they will commit the same mistake again.
Besides the small number of incidents you would like to forget, there are no doubt many more that you can look back on with a sense of achievement, satisfaction and pride.
The milestones and achievements you set as goals and achieved with tenacity, persistence and good humour. The people whose lives you touched in positive and supportive ways without even knowing it at the time, and the creative, high-value solutions you provided for your clients and customers in ways that made them feel both valued and valuable.
You should also take a moment to consider the small things that occur on a daily basis you can learn from to set yourself up for a positive future.
Consider some of the things that held you back during the year and made life harder than it probably needed to be. What can you do to change these?
Think too about the small steps and consistent actions you can do daily to help move you towards your goals in positive, enjoyable ways. How can you incorporate these into your everyday life?
Looking back is a powerful tool to help you move forward only if you do so objectively. The limited image you get in a rear-view mirror is a great reminder that if you allow yourself to dwell on the past, you are likely to stall.
Avoid going over the events in detail and instead ask yourself: “Did I act with integrity?”
When you are clear about what you stand for and what is negotiable and non-negotiable, deciding how to act and behave in the future becomes easy.
Acting in line with your values and with integrity helps build and maintain whatever reputation you may have and influence how you think about yourself and how others perceive you.
It can also help you to stand out for all the right reasons which can set you apart from others and give you a truly competitive edge.
Given a choice, most people would rather associate and engage with people who act with integrity than someone with questionable ethics.
Being clear about what is and what isn’t acceptable to you following a mental review of the year can help you keep things in perspective. It will enable you to move your life forward without any negative “baggage”.
When looking back, acknowledge and make a mental note of those events you would rather not repeat and make a commitment to live up to your standards from now.