Every year, we resolve to be a different person starting on January 1st. But why wait until the New Year takes hold to start making positive changes? This was the question Diana Montanos posed when she spoke to the Pattaya City Expats Club at their Sunday, October 23, meeting.
“This year, challenge yourself to end the year strong, rather than pitting your personal development on a vague point in time in the future,” she said. “There’s still enough time left to turn this year around – or at the least, to finish it with pride.”
Diana offered 24 suggestions for Powerful Ways to Finish the Year Off Right. That was the title of her talk, and also the title of a book by Heidi Priebe on which Diana based her talk.
First is to donate twenty-five personal belongings. Second, make a list of the fifteen best things you did this year. Three hundred and sixty-five days is a long stretch of time – long enough for us to forget our own accomplishments and triumphs. You may be surprised at all the tiny mountains you’ve conquered over the past twelve months, without ever recognizing them as such.
Third, make a list of five things you wish you’d done this year, but didn’t. And then ask yourself how you’re going to make sure you make it happen now. Fourth, extend a genuine and heartfelt “Thank You” to the people who got you through the year. “And then let those people know exactly how much they’ve meant to you.”
Fifth, sever the ties you know you ought to. This could mean the person you need to let go of; the job that you need to stop working; or the situation that has been dragging you down throughout the year. It’s time to make the affirmative decision to let it all go.
Sixth, apologize for all of the mistakes you made this year. Take this opportunity to own up and make amends with anyone you hurt. Seventh, forgive others for the mistakes they made this year. Forgiveness doesn’t mean welcoming someone back into your life. It doesn’t even necessarily mean contacting them again. “It just means making the conscious decision to let go of any anger, resentment and blame that you’ve been holding onto.
Eighth, accept the failures you encountered this year. “It’s tough to make it through the year without a single failure, but rather than dragging that beaten horse into the New Year alongside you, have the strength and the audacity before this year ends to let it go.”
Ninth, make a list of things that are going to get better. “Once you’ve let go of the pain, disappointment and resentment from the past year, you’re finally open to acknowledge all the amazing things that could replace them moving forward.” Make a list of those things – and then make an active plan to achieve them. Tenth, update your resume.
Number eleven, cancel the subscriptions and memberships that you never use. Twelfth, get a head start on your New Year’s Resolutions. “January 1st is no day to begin resolutions” – chances are you will be hungover anyway. Whichever habits you’d like to kick-start in the new year, kick-start them now. By the time January 1st rolls around, you’ll be accustomed to your new routine, which means you’ll be infinitely more likely to stick with it.”
Thirteenth, kiss somebody. Is there any better time than the year-end holidays to let someone know how you really feel about them? Fourteenth, miss somebody. “Use the last of the year to get all the pain, heartache and strife of missing someone out of your system. Stop denying yourself the pain and allow yourself to indulge in it one last time. Get those tears out of your system and get ready to start anew in the year that follows.” Fifteenth, go visit that person you kept saying you’d visit this year, but didn’t.
Continuing, the sixteenth, is to ask yourself the hard questions you’ve been putting off. It’s all too easy to settle into a routine and let the little things slide – like our happiness, health and overall sense of wellbeing. “Use the year’s end as an opportunity to check in with yourself about whether or not you’re really where you want to be in life. And if not, what you could be doing to start turning things around.”
Seventeenth, unlearn a toxic belief. Write down three negative beliefs you’ve been holding about yourself, other people or the world that surrounds you – “and then challenge the hell out of all of them!’ Eighteenth, visit the doctor. Don’t carry any anxiety over your health into the New Year. Nineteenth, visit a financial advisor. “If finances were a significant source of stress for you in the past year, visiting a financial advisor is a fantastic way of alleviating some of that stress heading into the New Year.” Number twenty is to make a list of all the things that you want, but are too afraid to ask for.
Concluding with the last four suggestions, number twenty-one is make an action plan to ask for those things in the coming year. Twenty-two is to ask your loved ones how the year has been for them. They may appreciate it more than you could possibly know. Twenty-three is to make a list of ten things that surprised you in the past year. And the twenty-fourth and last suggestion, is to make a list of everything you’re still afraid of going into the New Year. “And then set the list on fire. If there’s anything you don’t want to bring into the New Year with you, it’s uncertainty and fear.”
After the presentation, MC Roy Albiston brought everyone up to date on upcoming events and was followed by the Open Forum, where questions are asked and answered about Expat living in Thailand, especially Pattaya.
For more information on the PCEC’s many activities, visit their website at www.pcecclub.org.