Today the sun sets on 2016. Typically tonight we will reflect on the year gone by and imagine the year ahead. And it's a good time to look back, a good time to plan, and invariably time to set resolutions. Over the last week, we've watched the news programs run the 'year that was' segments, and yes it's been a tough year. Terror attacks, natural disasters and celebrity deaths. For us children growing up in the Eighties, we've lost icons we may have idolised, we've lost artists we sang along with, that created memories of school dances and first kisses. David Bowie, Prince, George Michael, and Gene Wilder as my all time favourite, Willy Wonker, are a handful that impacted me personally.
Yes, 2016 has been a bad year. Much of it is beyond our individual control, yet it impacts us emotionally.
So let's look at our own lives and examine what's in our control. This often helps us to determine our resolutions. Ever noticed how they're generally based on things we don't like about ourselves or things that went wrong? Stop smoking, lose weight, drink less... When have you ever created a resolution something along the lines of 'I resolve to continue being a great friend'?
I looked back at my 2016, and yeah, it was pretty bad - not earth-shatteringly bad - but at times it's been up there. Depression returned, my job and role is going through massive change without the clarity I need, and I travelled way too much leaving me away from my family. Let's flip it though - or reframe it. In 2016 I understood depression more and could help others, and at years end, I found medication that appears to work. Change in the work environment provides new opportunities to grow, and travel has exposed me to new experiences and people.
Now I'm not getting all happy clappy on you and suggest you reframe every negative. You could, but I'm not always up for it. So look deeper for other things that went well. For me, I grew friendships that enhance my life, I found hobbies that I never thought I'd love, and my family has always had my back. So my resolutions this year will be to do more of the same, and yes I want to stop some things too.
We must look to the negatives to learn and change, and we must also congratulate ourselves on the positives so we can continue them.
Over to you. And as the sun sets on 2016, sure take a moment to think about what wasn't great about it, just don't dwell on it. After all, when you pick a bad movie on Netflix, the last thing you'd do is download it again. Take more time to pick a new movie, or an even better sequel by thinking consciously about what went well. Allow this to launch you into a better year as the sun rises on 2017.
I'd love you to comment below on what you'll take out of 2016 that propels you into 2017 (click on the 'comments' link).
Have a safe and happy New Year and live your dreams.