Cynthia Occelli

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Panning for gold in 2013

December 27, 2013
Panning for Gold in 2012

Photo credit: house-n-baby (Flickr)


A gift for you. I’ve created an audio version of this blog (with bonus content not shared here) so that you can listen to this process as you complete it. Be sure to pause the recording while you answer each question. (If you are hearing impaired, send me an email and I’ll have the full recording transcribed for you).

Click here to download the audio.

 As 2013 closes, millions of New Year’s resolutions will float in the ethers. Many people will barrel into the New Year, drunk, clutching a list of things they intend to force themselves to do and lugging the baggage of the past with them.

Achieving goals by force is exhausting and overwhelming. When they can’t handle living under their own tyranny any longer, they’ll give up . . . until next year.

There is a better way.

One of my favorite activities is building, restoring, and remodeling houses. I love tearing away what’s outmoded, decaying, or no longer useful and replacing, or shoring it up with high quality materials that will make the home a beautiful place for living. It’s almost as rewarding as working with people, almost.

The process mirrors the steps of recreating, renewing, and improving ourselves.

Homes are remodeled to make them better, inside and out. Before one can build their vision, one must inspect the home in its current state and determine what will enhance it and what must be repaired, replaced, or removed.

Next, we examine the foundation to see whether it can support what we want to build. If it can, super. If not, we must reinforce it until it can. Imagine what would happen, if instead we just started painting, adding levels, and putting in windows of the house we envisioned. I’ve met quite a few former investors who did just that.

Similarly, I’ve met people who believe that superficial change leads to substantive personal improvement. It doesn’t.

Before we can design our best selves for 2014, we must take inventory of 2013. This sweet time, before the new year, gives us the perfect opportunity to look back over the year, see it globally and sort through it. When we’re finished we’ll see where we helped ourselves or others, and where we may have missed the mark. This is important information.

Tying off the loose strands of the parting year compartmentalizes it and allows you to take just the wisdom and support for your best self. Freer, wiser, infused with fresh energy and a clearer perspective, that’s the ideal foundation for conscious creation of the best you in 2014.

Before think about our dreams and goals for 2014—no resolutions allowed because only 8% last two weeks— we must take inventory of 2013 and choose to retain only what adds value to our lives.

Don’t worry about getting this all done before 2014. It just doesn’t make sense to prepare for a whole year of your life during the rush of the holidays. Spending January putting yourself in the best position to live a happy, healthy and fulfilling rest of the year is really smart. Bookmark this page.

When you are ready take some time to look back over last year, see it globally, and sort through it. Observe yourself in a non-judgmental, curious way, and look for where you helped yourself and where you could have done better.

Write down the answers to the following questions.

1. Was 2013 a good year? Why?

2. What did you do well?

3. What could you have done better?

4. List the things that moved you forward (emotionally, physically, financially, in relationships, self-esteem).

5. List the things that moved you away from your good.

6. Who enriched your life?

7. What relationships were depleting or harmful?

8. What thought or thoughts played most in your mind?

9. Describe each month of 2013 with one word, phrase or sentence.

Study the answers for the hidden gems, the things that made you better, stronger, more alive. Note the things that brought you down and caused you suffering.

10. In hindsight, what could you have done differently to support and help yourself more?

Be kind, gentle and loving with yourself.

If you’ve listened to the audio, you know what I’m taking away from 2013, what will you be taking with you? Leave a comment and let me know.