This time of year can be a two-sided coin. Exciting and nostalgic, and overwhelming and stressful at the same time.

But, it can also be an opportunity, one where you get to mine the triumphs and tragedies for wisdom—a time of year where you can leverage the past to uplevel your future.

And here’s what you need to do. Take a look back to move forward.

So as you move into the new year, I’d like to plant a few seeds in your mind that you can consider as you ease back into things. Take a look at these questions and allow your mind to consider the answers in the background. Then, when you have time (or when you make time), write down everything you can think of.

Here’s where I’d like you to start.

What worked last year?

Consider all of the things that went really well, and make a list of them. It could be that you drew some boundaries around early morning meetings because it interfered with getting the kids to school. Or maybe, it’s a new role that you stepped up for. It could be that you created device-free evenings with the family or started leaning toward vegetarian eating. Whatever pops into your mind, personally or professionally, make a list of as many things as you can think of that went well.

Next, look at each item. on the list and decide which ones you’d like to have more of in 2022. For example, it could be that the boundaries around early morning meetings went well, and that’s something you want to continue in 2022. Great! What else went well that you want to keep from the list?

Finally, look at the remaining items on the list and decide which you’d like to have less of in 2022. So, even though it went well, maybe it was too time-consuming, or you didn’t enjoy it as much as you thought you would. Now, it’s time to decide to let them go.

For me, this year is letting go of one of the organizations that I am a member of. I am stepping into the Board Chair role of ATHENA International, and I know that will take more of my time. So, I had to let something go, even though it worked for me.

So what do you want less of this year to free up more time?

What didn’t work last year?

Consider all of the things that didn’t go well or didn’t go the way you thought they would. What were they? Again, make a list and consider which ones you’ll let go of because they were a trainwreck, and consider which ones you’ll try again but approach them differently.

It could be that new leadership or management isn’t working so well for you. I hear this a LOT from my clients. Is it time to have a conversation because you feel you’re being overlooked? Or perhaps it’s time to make a move because you think you’re being pushed out. I know that feeling because I’ve been there. Not pleasant. Capture what isn’t working for you on a list, personally or professionally. What is the biggest, most painful item on this list? That’s the item you need to focus on in 2022 because it can pull you down if it’s not already.

So, these first two questions were more about what you “thought” about when considering the year in review. Next, I’d like to tap into what you felt.

What did you enjoy this year?

Write it down if it actually brought you joy or made you happy. I’m hoping this list is lengthy for you, but I have a feeling that for some of you, it’s not. And, if it isn’t, there’s no judgment on my part because I’ve been there too in a place where I felt so disconnected from myself and my life that nothing brought me joy.

If things this year brought you joy, they need to go on the “I want more of this” list for 2022. One of the highlights of my year was the time I spent with my grandson. It brought me joy beyond what I could imagine, and I’ll be building in time to spend with him because it’s important for my happiness and who I am beyond my business.

What sucked the life out of you this year?

Again, make a list, and this one will likely be easier to create. Are there people, projects, or dare I say it, pandemics (sorry, I had to go for the alliteration) that are pulling you down? If you feel this, then you’ve got to do something about it. Because what you permit, you promote, and if it’s sucking the life out of you, you don’t want it going on longer than it has to. So how can you create boundaries around the most painful items on this list?

Where are the patterns? Whether it’s in your work or your life, pay attention to the patterns that show up in your life. They are here to serve you as long as you can recognize them. Use them as a foundation to reboot 2022 for you!

Until then, here’s wishing you the Clarity you deserve!

Be good to yourself.