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How to end the year with no regrets


As we come to the end of 2018, it’s hard not to look back on the year and judge it. Did it surmount to everything we had hoped for it to be? Or are you counting down the days until it’s over? There are so many different ways to categorize the last 365 days. No matter how you do so, the most important thing is to put a definite end to the year.

 Yes, that’s correct, end 2018 IN 2018. Don’t take it with you. Before the year is done, take a few minutes (or longer) to reflect on all the year was for you. Write out some thoughts such as, what you loved about the year, what you didn’t like so much, what brought you joy, what brought you pain, remember some of your best moments, some of your not so good, record it all. Don’t be afraid. You don’t need to keep this list, just get it all out. All the expectations you had for this past year, and all that came to be. Let it out.

 Then, let it go. These will no longer serve you in the new year. The past is done, it can’t be changed and there is no going back. What will bring you the most closure is accepting the year for what it was, giving yourself some time to feel it all, and then letting it come to a close. Sometimes this is simple, and sometimes it’s easier said than done.

 Don’t get me wrong, I believe in using our past and the knowledge its given us to build a better future. However, holding onto it won’t move us forward. Instead treat it as a stepping stone for what’s ahead.

 So once you’re finished with your list, you have some options. Sometimes just getting it all out is good enough. But, If you’re a visual person, or need a bit more, consider an act of symbolism. You could burn or bury your list to symbolize the end of one chapter and the beginning of a new one. You could rip it up and throw it away. Read it aloud and say a prayer. Or come up with your own creative way to bring your year to a close.

 This isn’t a surefire three step system to ensure you have no regrets going into 2019. But, it can be a productive exercise of reflection, acceptance, and letting go. I find it refreshing to pay my respects to the end of a year. No one likes carrying around excess baggage. So this process seems to allow me the freedom to go into the next year with an outlook of possibility and a fresh start. I hope it can do the same for you.