Three wise…….questions

December 17th 2021

Three questions to ask yourself at this time of year.


Planning what you are going to do next year is common at this time or year and talk of  New Year’s resolutions increase.  Riding this wave of change and optimism is a great thing to do, however…..

Many of us are aware of how quickly resolutions fail, old habits prevail and the wave of optimism is receding back into the ocean!

So here are 3 questions that I ask myself as way to ride that wave way into the New Year.  I encourage you to pick up a pen and sit by a warm, toasty fire with something nice to drink and write down the answers to the following:

1. What am I proud of from this year?

As a society, we tend to focus much more on the negative than the positive.  Every tail has its head, every down, it’s up, so take time to redress that balance and actively look for the things that went well.

Feeling proud of something can be uncomfortable for many and if that is you, just focus on the things that went well, the successes.

And it is not just about those monumental achievements. Include all the little things too.  And after you have written this list, keep it close by as it is likely that other things will spring to mind that you can continue to add on to the list.

2. What things have you learned?

Here we can get back into the familiar territory of things that went wrong.  However this is not about self flagellation.  It’s more about what you learned from those harder times that you can take forward with you to minimise the risk of falling down the same hole next year.

My definition of failure is not doing anything.  When we take action, we either get to where we want to go, or we learn that is not the route.  The key is not to travel down that route again to find that the end destination is still the same!  And in that learning, you get to explore what other routes may get you where you want to be.

3. What can you leave in 2021 and not carry forward into 2022?

This can be where resolutions come in – the smoking, the leaving behind the eating habits.  But be a bit more creative.  It may be something very practical like de cluttering the house between Christmas and New Year – getting rid of ‘stuff’ that no longer serves you.  This makes way for new things to come in.

And we can declutter mentally too. Are there any thoughts or habits that no longer serve you and by riding yourself of them, would make way for new behaviours?

You may find that there are things on this list that you don’t know how to change.  If so, pop me a message and together we can work out how we can tick that off of the list.

And now I have 3 lists, so what next???

Lists are a good start, taking action is going to make the difference.

From list one, look at where you can repeat those successes, do more of the same.  Again, we often focus on stopping the bad behaviours but give little attention to continuing the good stuff.

Keep this list somewhere where you see it often as a reminder of keeping a focus on the successes, the achievements.

From list two, use the learning.  I am sure, like me, you have done a course and then never looked at the manual again and that info just disappears to the deep dark recesses of your mind never to see the light of day again.  Perhaps choose one thing from that list and take it up a gear – how can this new skill or talent you have learned make more of a difference in your life?

And from list three, commit to change one thing.  That is all it takes – one thing.  And when you have achieved that, go back to the list and see what the next thing is that you can cross off – and maybe even transfer to list 2 as a learning, AND list one for next year too!!

My best piece of advice though is that if you do want to change something in your life NOW is the time.  Yes, that wave of change is rising, however if you really want to give something up, or start something new, why wait until the 1st of January when you could already be surfing that wave now?

Pop a comment in the comments box below and tell me What is on your list 1?  What learning have you had this year?  What is your one thing….????

If you would like to have an information and confidential chat with me about anything you would like to change in your life, pop me a message or give me a call and we’ll find a time that works for both of us to ensure that 2022 is a year that you can look back on with a much longer list of things in answer to question 1!

Caroline Cavanagh is an anxiety specialist  and hypnotherapist in Salisbury, Wiltshire.  She is an author and public speaker and would love to talk to you if you would like to know more about her work.

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