Managing Self Positive Psychology

A recipe for starting the New Year on a positive note

Written by Jill Farmer

I did it again yesterday.

I looked at the calendar and immediately my mind started jumping ahead to next year– mentally making plans, vowing to do things differently, hoping for some changes.

I didn’t beat myself up.

I just noticed.

It’s an old pattern.

See, I used to believe that I could fix my life every year by using the New Year as an excuse for the mean voice in my head (my ego) to, once again, try to beat me up… to be mean and critical enough… to get me “back on track”.

That would launch a frenzy of plans.

Plans that always included deprivation, militaristic rigid rules, and the hope that I could somehow fix myself.

It never lasted. Weeks (or sometimes months) later, I was back where I started– just more depleted, cynical and ashamed.

I didn’t enjoy looking back on the past year. It just triggered shame about where I’d fallen short–a highlight reel of inadequacies.

Now I know looking back is integral to creating positive changes.

I just do it very differently.

I am intentional, resolute even, about being kind, loving and curious as I review the past year.

I start with the things I am grateful for– the blessings, miracles, the grace. I list each of them and let myself savor them. It’s like balm for my soul.

Then, I list all of the things that went right.

This is one of the most valuable things I do all year.

Taking a little time to really reflect, notice, and take note of the things that went well does two things:

1) it builds a body of evidence that helps keep my irrational fear-mind at bay

2) it provides me with a fantastic blueprint/template to use for things that aren’t going as well.

Let’s start with that.

About the author

Jill Farmer

I love helping people get more meaningful work done in less time. I am the author of "There's Not Enough Time... and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves" which debuted as a bestseller in the Time Management Category on Amazon. In 2015, The Washington Post named me to its 21-Day Time Hacker team. I travel the world delivering keynotes and seminars for top corporations and organizations. I am also a wife and the mother of two teens and I have the two worst-behaved dogs in the universe. You can reach me at or visit my website

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