How do you end your year? Without much thought and barely a glance back? Or, do you bend down and kiss the ground you walk on because you made it through another year – just barely!

There’s personal strength, refreshed energy and renewed focus to be gained from mindfully acknowledging and completing the year that has past. Mindfully completing your year is sort of like cleaning out a closet; you feel better AND make room for fresh new stuff that fits better! And hopefully in the year ahead you’ll make everything you add to your life not only fit better, but feel better too.

To help you say GOODBYE 2006 so you can say HELLO 2007 – REGRET FREE, this 5-step process will help. The time you take acknowledging and letting go of the year that has past will set the stage for making 2007 your best year yet!

Step 1: Schedule it. I know you’re busy, but taking a few hours to do this exercise will be time well spent. Put it on your to-do list just like any other commitment. By doing so, you’re committing to not only living your life, but you’ll also be working on your life.

Step 2: Set the stage. Pick a location you love. This could be a favorite room in your house, your favorite coffee house, or some other location that allows you to relax and hear your own thoughts.

Step 3: Get to the heart of it. Center yourself, breathe deeply and begin asking yourself the following question. As you reflect on each question write down your answers.

Don’t judge yourself and be totally honest. (If it helps, at the top of your paper write, “no one will ever have to read this”) Remember, you’re doing this so you can say GOODBYE, once and for all, to the year that has past.

Ask and answer these questions to get to the HEART of your year.

What are my blessings? This is a great question to start with because it opens your heart for things to come.

What were my tangible accomplishments? What did you accomplish that you could measure in some way? (i.e. increase your salary by 10%, lose 15 pounds, clear the clutter in your life)

What were my intangible accomplishments? This question has to do more with personal accomplishments others may not be able to see, but you can. (i.e. started each day with an intention, smiled more, let go of past hurts and old wounds)

What did I learn about myself? Your answers to this question may give you clues to your passions and talents OR reveal how you STOP yourself from living the life you really want. (i.e. I discovered I love interviewing people, so I’ll definitely want to do more of that in 2007!)

Overall, how do I feel about the year that has past? Your answer to this one question gives you insight to how you feel about your life overall. (use a simple 1- 10 scale; 1=things aren’t so great, or 10=my life is fabulous!)

What didn’t I do that I really wish I had? Your answer to this question will give you the choice of letting it go, or making a plan to do it next year. (i.e. I didn’t travel as much as I wanted to, etc.)

What did I do that I have to do again? Your answer to this question will give you insights into what will make next year great. (i.e. I learned more about a topic I love, I hosted my first dinner party, etc.)

Step 4: Say goodbye and thank you. Remind yourself the year is OVER. It has ended. Whether it was a great year or a bomb, the past is the past. It does not define your future – unless you let it.

Step 5: Don’t look back! Now it’s time to LET GO. Be proud of yourself for taking the time to do this exercise (you’re part of an elite group). Forgive yourself and forgive others. Imagine any regrets you have turning to dust and being gently swept away, out of your body and your mind – never to return.

You stand a better chance of having a great year next year by starting the New Year with no unfinished business, no guilt – no regrets.

Let go and say thank you to 2006 for all that it gave you – good and bad. There’s no time like the PRESENT to live the life you really want.

Copyright (c) 2007 Cari Vollmer