Let Go of Last Year’s Disappointments

Writing is your secret superpower to let go and clear the way for something new

“Everything happens for me, not to me. ” — Byron Katie, Loving What Is

Towards the end of the year, I often wonder about all the missed opportunities. The time wasted by streaming TV series or going on social media. The unfinished projects.

Have you ever felt that way at the end of the year?

The good news is, you can write yourself out of it. It’s possible to let go, with a simple two-step process. It takes about 10 minutes and will change your mindset and body feeling instantly!

Step 1: Surrender to the frustration

You don’t have to pretend the year was great for you. It’s a good thing to be aware of what bugs you, rather than pushing it away. This awareness may be uncomfortable — but it will take you further than numbing yourself with social media or TV series.

Make a list of all the things that are bothering you about your progress in the last year. Where are you disappointed in yourself and others? Which projects do you wish you’d never started? Where are you stuck? What keeps holding you back?

Remember, it’s OK to feel disappointed. Turn towards the uncomfortable feelings, and write them all down (otherwise, they will just keep bugging you in the background).

Set a timer for 5 minutes and use these prompts:

My list of disappointments of last year is…

This makes me feel…

I want to acknowledge that it’s hard. And it’s impossible to stay on top of everything all the time. Take three deep breaths, lift up your shoulders, and then let them settle back down while you breathe out.

Next, give your body a little shake, wriggle in your chair, stretch your arms, or get up from your chair to do a little dance (and it’s OK to cry, too).

This was a courageous step! You didn’t distract yourself, but you were fully present with yourself.

Step 2: Write down the progress that you did make

Now, turn towards the wins of this year, or in recent months. What small progress did you make? Where did you learn that something doesn’t work for you? Are there moments that felt like a failure, but new doors opened later? What did you say no to, to make space for a more important project?

Set a timer for 5 minutes, and journal about:

My wins this year, or in the last quarter, are…

My learning points — from all failures, resistance, and difficulties, are…

Again, take a few breaths, and see if you can feel gratitude in your body. You have given it your best shot, and you’re doing this exercise. You’re showing up for yourself. That’s an achievement in itself! Is there a bubbly feeling in your throat, or a warm fuzzy cloud in your belly? A smile on your face? Where can you feel any gratitude or happiness — no matter how subtle — in your body?

This step of fully facing your disappointments and learning points is the basis for going forward!

Congratulations on having done it!

“If you practice thoughts of gratitude, curiosity, and care, the ego-self becomes porous and your goodness easily shines through.”–Tara BrachTrusting the Gold

Declutter your to-do list with this free Goal Filter tool.

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