Completing the Year Consciously

As 2010 comes to a close, I wanted to share this beautifully written article by best selling author, speaker and coach, Mike Robbins.  I could not have said it better myself….so please enjoy!   I look forward to stepping into 2011 with freedom and passion, and do hope you’ll join me!

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These few days before the start of the New Year have a magical and sacred quality to them.  I appreciate the lull in activity that often takes place this week and the opportunity we have to reflect back on the year that is ending, as well as to create new possibilities and intentions for the year that’s about to start.  It often seems more exciting to focus on our “resolutions” for the coming year than it does to look back.  However, before we jump ahead and start making our goals for next year, it’s essential that we complete the year that is about to end consciously.

As much as I personally love this completion process, I usually have mixed emotions reflecting back on the year.  There is often excitement, gratitude, and joy for all of the wonderful accomplishments, experiences, insights, and more.  There is also sadness, disappointment, and sorrow over the things that I didn’t accomplish, the people and things I’ll miss, and the places in my life where I struggled or failed.

This is as true as ever as 2010 comes to a close. This past year I’ve experienced some really big highs and some painful lows. I’m truly grateful for all that I’ve learned and experienced. And, while I have lots to appreciate from this past year, I’m also glad to see it end! How about you?

Due to the common mixture of emotions we experience and especially with a year like 2010 which created a lot of growth opportunities for most of the people I know and work with, it’s essential that we embrace and practice the art of completion.  Completion is a conscious process we engage in whereby we do and say whatever we need to in order to create a true sense of closure to an experience (in this case, the year that is about to end).

Because we often have resistance to authentically celebrating and appreciating ourselves, reflecting honestly on our accomplishments or our failures, acknowledging our real results or lack thereof, grieving loss with depth, and more – we usually just roll through the end of things and either avoid completion all together or move onto the next thing as fast as we can.  When we do this, however, we miss out on a sacred and important process.

Completion allows us to bring things to a close with a sense of gratitude, reverence, and peace.  When we allow ourselves to experience a sense of true completion, we move into the next phase of life bringing with us the gifts, lessons, accomplishments, experiences, and more from what we’ve just been through.  When we don’t take the time to truly complete something, we end up carrying baggage, regrets, fear, and unresolved issues into our next experience.  These things don’t serve us and often end up undermining our success and fulfillment.

As we get ready for 2011 and begin to think specifically about what we want to create and experience in the New Year, one of the most important things we can do is to complete 2010 in a conscious and powerful way.

Completion Questions

Here are some questions you can ask and answer yourself, as a way to create a sense of completion for 2010:

1)  What were my biggest lessons in 2010?

2)  What am I most proud of from this past year?

3)  What were my biggest disappointments in 2010?

4)  What am I ready to let go of from this past year?

5)  What else do I need to do or say to be totally complete with 2010?

As you take some time to think about and write down your answers to these questions, see if you can reflect on this past year with a sense of appreciation and empathy.  The word “appreciate” means to recognize the value of (not necessarily like, agree with, or want to experience again).  Whether your year was “wonderful,” “terrible,” or somewhere in between – we each have so much we can appreciate about this past year.  And, it’s important for us to have as much empathy as we possibly can for ourselves (and those around us), especially right now.

If you’re anything like me, you probably had some big failures or disappointments this past year.  When we can remember that we almost always do the best we can with what we have in each moment of our lives, we can hopefully let go of our feelings of shame, guilt, or embarrassment over any of the things that didn’t go as planned for us in 2010.  And, you probably had some incredible things happen in your life this past year as well.  It’s important that we acknowledge ourselves for all of it – the highs and the lows.

See if you can create some sacred time in the next few days to share your answers to these completion questions with some of the important people in your life (and maybe ask them to answer these questions as well).  By creating a conscious intention for completion, you will give yourself the gift of appreciation for this past year and in so doing, allow a space to open up in which you can create your goals and intentions for 2011 with a sense of peace, power, and clarity.  And, as you ponder these questions, you may realize that there is something important you want to do or say in order to leave 2010 behind and step into 2011 with freedom and passion.

Have fun with this.  And, congratulations on completing another year of this magical, bizarre, wonderful adventure we call life – what a ride!

How will you consciously complete 2010? What can you do or say to leave 2010 behind you in a powerful, authentic, and peaceful way? Share your thoughts, ideas, insights, actions in the comments below!

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Mike Robbins empowers individuals, teams, and organizations to be more productive, appreciative, and successful through his keynotes, seminars, writing, and consulting. He is the author of the audio program, The Power of Appreciation, a contributing author of Chicken Soup for the Single Parent’s Soul, the author of the best selling book, Focus on the Good Stuff (Hardcover, Jossey-Bass/Wiley) and the forthcoming book, Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken (Hardcover, Jossey-Bass/Wiley, April 2009).

Mike has been featured in Forbes, on the Oprah and Friends radio network, and on ABC News. He is a member of the National Speakers Association (NSA) and is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), NSA’s highest earned designation. Mike lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife Michelle and their daughter Samantha.

Learn more about Mike and sign up for his free newsletter at www.Mike-Robbins.com

(Reprinted with Permission © Copyright 2008 Mike Robbins)

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34 Responses to “Completing the Year Consciously”

  1. I have been trying quite hard recently to focus on living consciously. I have found that if I take a good look at my life, much of my time I was spending on autopilot doing many things that were detrimental without even thinking about them. Recently, however, I have made a shift towards trying to remain conscious and aware and avoiding slipping into my own mind and operating on autopilot.

    This simple change in perspective has helped immensely! I have been biting my nails for 12 years and I stopped biting my nails one day and that was it. Once I decided to be conscious of what I was doing, I haven’t bitten my nails since.

    My nervous habits are gone and I feel in control for the first time in a very long time.
    william@gynecomastia causes´s last blog post ..Gynecomastia Surgery Cost

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    bethallen Reply:

    Hey William ~ sounds like you have done great work to shift some habits that weren’t serving you in living life to the fullest….way to go! It is amazing what we can accomplish inside of consciousness. 🙂

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  2. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for sharing the wonderful post.

    Let go and grow. Completion means to release any baggage, and baggage is simply “stuff.” Good bad and in between, it’s all stuff that weighs us down if we don’t release it for the past just left town and will never return.

    I adopt an attitude of gratitude for each experience as each moment is a vehicle for my advancement. I extract whatever lesson I can take from the successes and failures and simply move forward.

    Have a Happy New Year 🙂

    RB
    Ryan Biddulph´s last blog post ..Home Based Business Tips – Follow These Steps to Grow it Like a Weed

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    bethallen Reply:

    You’re welcome, Ryan. I love that…let go and grow. 🙂 You are absolutely right, each moment is a vehicle for either advancement or retreat….we get to choose! It’s so sad to see people pass the lessons by and retreat ~ because right on the other side of that lesson is beauty and possibility! Thanks for visiting.

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  3. Hey Beth

    pretty nice article here by Mike Robbins. This post seems to give a person something to reflect upon and gives you a check list to see what things that you can or could make better in your life and after. I just wonder if its possible to have everything complete in your life where you are content to having no absolute change? Sounds impossible perhaps? Who knows.

    Thanks for sharing such an insightful post from Mike Robbins

    Steven Dean
    Steven Dean´s last blog post ..Leaders Pave The Way To Victory

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    bethallen Reply:

    Hey Steven! Yes, this is a great article for reflection and action. With regard to your comment, I would say that is not possible, nor should you want it to be. It’s not about completing every single thing ~ it would be miserable if nothing changed! While a person can change and not grow, no growth can happen without change! Change is good! What I think completion is about is bringing closure to the things that are no longer serving you. Wiping the slate clean so you can create and grow without having to deal with the same roadblocks time and time again. I actually just posted a quote on my fan page this weekend that applies here ~ “The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it is the same problem you had last year.” ~ Former Secretary of State, James Foster Dulles. Anyhow, those are my thoughts. 🙂 Happy New Year!

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  4. Darren Spruyt 01. Jan, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Hey Beth,

    Thanks for sharing such a deep and insightful post. I have to agree with Mike on a few points especially the one on completion. It’s the same as avoiding our fears, and when it comes back to haunt us, it comes back stronger and it alleviates our fears.The only way for us to get rid of it is to face it straight in the eye (which I’m very sure, it’s not as easy as it sounds) and we get empowered ourselves.

    I always love mentioning that we need to express gratitude for whatever we have at any point in time. For only when that happens will the universe bless us with more than what we have, because expressing gratitude goes to show we can handle what we are currently dealing with and are ready to take on a higher challenge/responsibility.

    Thanks for sharing this post Beth! It doesn’t matter whether it is the year end of any time of the year. We should always look towards closure and gratitude in our lives all the time.

    Regards,
    Darren Spruyt
    Darren Spruyt´s last blog post ..Why Setting New Year Resolutions Set You Up For Failure…

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Absolutely Darren. We have to face our fears and limitations if we are to grow and prosper! And yes, expressing gratitude always serves in that growth and prosperity! I’m glad you enjoyed this post as well ~ a worthy message all year long for sure. 🙂 Thanks for visiting.

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  5. Hey Beth,
    Thanks for sharing Mike’s article with us. It is good to ask yourself what you have learned from the past year, before you move on into 2011. I can also work on being a more conscious being in this new year as well.
    Ryan Martin´s last blog post ..Is MyVideoTalk A Global Scam Find Out In This MyVideoTalk Review

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    bethallen Reply:

    Sure thing, Ryan. Absolutely it is! Otherwise we’ll just hit the same stumbling blocks over and over. I wish you the best in a more conscious 2011! Thanks for visiting.

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  6. Beth,
    Great article to share. This is a time to reflect and evaluate where you are & where you wish to be.

    Those questions are essential. It’s about looking at the good and the not so good. Both sides of the coin need to be looked at for complete balance in moving forward.

    Love reading about different ways to evaluate your life’s progress. Always a different slant to each person’s way of expressing their views.

    Val 🙂
    Val Wilcox´s last blog post ..Where Do You Stand

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    bethallen Reply:

    Hi Val ~ yes, to get where we’re trying to go, it’s always essential to look at both sides of the coin. Balance simply won’t happen if we don’t! I too love reading different views on evaluating our progress, and particularly resonated with Mike’s so was compelled to share. Glad you enjoyed it too. 🙂

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  7. Hi Beth,

    Happy New Year! Mike Robbins thoughts on closing out the old year appropriately before beginning anew in 2011 are wonderful. For people…like me…who did not appreciate the need to thoughtfully closeout 2010, there’s still time to reflect before 2011 is fully underway.

    Thanks for sharing Mike’s article,
    Susan
    Susan Redmon´s last blog post ..MLSP Wednesday Webinar- The Secrets to Ensure 2011 is Your Breakout Year

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    bethallen Reply:

    Happy New Year to you as well Susan! I completely agree that this first week is fair game for closing out 2010 consciously as we step into 2011. That’s why I have left the post up this first week ~ because I think it’s so important to do before launching in to a new year ~ otherwise we’re just going to move into the next phase with a whole lot of stuff that just isn’t going to serve us in success and happiness. I hope you’ve taken some time this week to reflect on these things and that you’re ready to rock now! 🙂 So glad you enjoyed Mike’s article.

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  8. Happy new year Beth!

    Hope you had an amazing year and I wish you all the success and happiness that you desire for 2011.

    It is important now to write down goals for the coming year. This simple yet powerful technique is often overlooked. And to ask ourselves each day what to do to take a step closer to our goals.

    All the best to you!

    Aidan 🙂
    Aidan Gibson´s last blog post ..How To Create A Facebook Page

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    bethallen Reply:

    Happy New Year to you too, Aidan! My year was filled with ups and downs, but I would say it all served to set the stage for an extraordinary 2011! And great that Mike’s completion process came into my life so I could let go of the stuff that pulled me down! 🙂 All the best to you as well.

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  9. Hi Beth,
    Great article to share. year ends are always a time for reflection and re-visiting of your goals for your life. I truly believe 2011 is going to be an incredible year to breakthrough to the next level.
    Blessings to you!
    Clare
    Clare Kelway´s last blog post ..By- Tweets that mention Attraction Marketing Professional – Clare Kelway – Topsycom

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    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Clare! Yes, year ends SHOULD be a time for reflection and completion, but if you skip this step you’ll likely just repeat it all in the new year! I agree that 2011 is going to be a breakthrough year. 🙂

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  10. great exercise from mike… even a facial-hair resemblance to the *other* robbins guy!

    it’s not to late to close out 2010 even though we’re a week into 2011. in fact, it’s CRITICAL to do so. one other question i learned to ask myself when i close out the year: ‘who did you love in 2010?’ it’s normal to cringe at some of the names on that list… 🙂

    thanks beth! and hey, you know the bay is gonna miss you!
    Melissa McCloud´s last blog post ..Don’t Be A Wuss!

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    bethallen Reply:

    lol Yes, the reason I left the post up through the first week of Jan. is because I think so many people skip this step, and in doing so are destined to hit those same roadblocks in the year to come. I’m so intrigued by that question to close the year….I can’t really imagine cringing at the names of people I loved….maybe a few times in my single days…. 😉 I will miss the bay too, Melissa….and we’ll be having babies near each other too! Exciting, but too bad I won’t be around.

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  11. What a good reminder as we enter another new year. I often keep moving forward without stopping to look behind me, but it’s as we reflect on our successes and even failings, that we gain insight for the future. Thanks for the reminder.

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    bethallen Reply:

    It really is a great reminder ~ and sounds like a perfect one for you to pause and reflect on. It’s easy to get wrapped up with plugging away at the task at hand, but if there are roadblocks that you didn’t properly handle before, they’re just going to resurface. Have a magnificent year, Sherry! 🙂

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  12. Beth,
    There is so much truth to this. One is unable to move on, if they don’t let go of the past. I believe in no regrets. Great post, thanks 🙂
    Lynda´s last blog post ..eDiets Coupon Promo Codes

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    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Lynda, glad you agree! 🙂

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  13. I wonder, why I found your blog so late. However, the end of this year is not so far and I would keep this article in my bookmarks to read again by the end of this year.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Yes, we are approaching the end of the year, so this post is soon to be timely once again! So not too late at all…:)

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  14. I have enjoyed the various thoughts on your pages. Now, as we are nearing the end of 2011, we can ask ourselves the same questions. How has the year been spent. Do we need to pick up and finish something we started, but discarded along the way? There is still a little time yet!
    Pat´s last blog post ..Saving Tips: Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

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  15. We’re now obviously well underway in 2012 so it’s a while since this post was put up but I must say in the recent times with my mothers death late last year i have been reflecting on my relationship with her. Reflection and to some degree analysis, can be be helpful but depending on how honest i want to be with myself, reflection on the past is difficult. As i move fast paced with the rest of the world i feel like i am keeping up, while making a few small errors in my haste, but when i stop and look back over everything, it can be completely overwhelming what you see in yourself and the world around you.
    Thank you for the post, it was very informative and interesting

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  16. Any year that begins is always met with great expectations but undeniably, along with it is the somewhat sad and mixture of emotions for the year that is going. This is a cycle that happens year after year after year.
    David Harris´s last blog post ..Discount Box Supply, a packaging supplies company in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Absolutely, I agree. However, if we are making our choices with conscious thought, we can slow that cycle, and eventually end it. We always have a choice!

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  17. As usual, so insightful and additionally useful post Completing the Year Consciously!
    Thanks!!
    Lisette@hand painted oil paintings´s last blog post ..hand painted oil paintings

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    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Lisette! A great post to review as we’re nearing the end of 2012 now…I hope it’s a great one for you!

    [Reply]

  18. Thank you for this inspiring blog. I am living consciously for the first time in my life, life began for me at 40.
    I am on a path, exactly where i am meant to be right now. And from here, I can only go forward, shaping my life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love.” My journey to self discovery, a gift and promise to myself.
    I have started to attend spiritual gatherings/retreats held by the community I belong to in Johannesburg South Africa.
    Release and healing was the beautiful gift I received from the retreat I recently attended. If you have ever experienced energy healing you will understand what I mean. The vibration going through my body in that very moment, one just knows what is happening. The power the release the awareness the calm that follow’s. #Goose bumps.
    This morning I sit stunned by the realization that I’m different today because my new life has only now begun.
    Over the past few months I have made huge changes to my personal life. So the change is obvious to those around me, yet today I sit here typing, with my heart wide open. When I sit quietly, I wait and listen, waiting for the noise in my head to start. Yet today it’s not there. Oh MY WORD, where is the noise. ‪#‎Laughing the feeling of complete peace and love fills my entire body, so I cry again of course, these are tears of joy and gratitude – as I know now, I finally closed the door on my past. This is possible because of the lovely caring friends and community that surround me.
    I am so grateful for my emotional roller coaster of a week, last week. It all made sense to me while at this gathering, I started to connect the dots, I call it divine intervention. I had to have that hard emotional week for a reason. A lot of old feelings and dark memories from my past seemed to bombard my mind during that week. After many conversations with myself along with self doubt and far too many tears shed. I could sit back and reflect on that emotional week and comfortably know in my heart, I had completed the work I needed to do that week already by facing those memories of the past. This is how powerful the universe is. My final release was completed at the ceremony. Burning the little boxes that have been a part of me for so long, the ones that were tightly sealed and packed down very deep in my soul the ones with all that muck and dirt in them, that muck and dirt will never haunt me ever again, they gone, burnt merely ashes swept away with the wind.
    What a powerful and profound message.
    Truth, honour, consideration, love and happiness is all I have in my heart now.
    After my release I could finally take that first baby step and reconnect with my true self. That was reconnecting with my inner child. Tears turned to Sobs when I saw her for the first time. (surrounded by friends within my community to help me through this pain, along wit trust and faith in God, I was able to accept her with grace and love once more.
    My letter to my inner child.
    To the child who grew up always saying “ I cant”
    To the one who constantly felt she was never good enough
    To the child that disappeared at a very young age
    I love you
    You are worthy
    You are holy
    Right now and forever
    To the one who cried herself to sleep
    To the child who knew she was loved, yet constantly felt alone
    To the one I abused through substance abuse
    I am sorry
    I gently pick you up, off the floor
    I look at your face and touch your blonde hair
    I take you in my arms and hold you close
    I wipe your tears, hush hush dear one
    You are safe once more
    I softly whisper in your ear “it’s time”
    “Dear child open your eyes”
    I promise to never leave you
    I promise to nurture you
    love and care for you
    I promise to keep you safe
    “Dear Child open your eyes”
    The darkness is now filled with light and sunshine
    “Dear Child open your eyes”
    I am you, you are me we are one
    Take my hand dear child
    I promise to honour love and respect you once more.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Wow Wendy….I FEEL you! You are exactly where you are meant to be right now. The journey of self-discovery is indeed a gift, often one that many pass up, because it isn’t always easy, is it?! But to see the light, we must know and understand the darnkness. I am happy to hear you are spending time at retreats during this awakening. I have found the power of being surrounded by like-minded individuals and good energy to be essential to my growth and evolution. What a beautiful share, Wendy. I and am grateful you visited here and allowed me to be a witness to this profound journey you are on. Namaste.

    [Reply]

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