December 28, 2001



"Success is a continuing thing. It is growth and development. It is achieving one thing and using that as a stepping stone to achieve something else."

-- John C. Maxwell

In order to embrace the new, we must release the old. A trapeze artist cannot swing from one bar to another without letting go. An important part of preparing for the New Year is to review the past year -- to release it -- and to learn from it.

To go where we wish to go and be whom we wish to be, we need to know where we are and who we are. An honest self-analysis is always helpful to gain clarity. As we end the year, it seems particularly fitting to devote some time to reflecting on the year past and where we find ourselves as the new year dawns.

The following questions should stimulate your thinking for this process. I hope that you take time out of your busy schedule this holiday season to ponder where you are and where you've been. Talk with people you care about. Write out your thoughts and feelings. Do some journaling. Consider writing a letter -- an end-of-the-year-epistle to yourself. It could be profound to write it and valuable to read it in the years ahead.

Reflect upon what you did, how you felt, what you liked, what you didn't and what you learned. Try to look at yourself and your experience with as much objectivity as you can -- much like a biographer would.

Here are some suggestions to get you started in mulling over the past year -- perhaps the last decade. Feel free to add your own.

1. What did I learn? (skills, knowledge, awareness, etc.)

2. What did I accomplish? A list of my wins and achievements.

3. What would I have done differently? Why?

4. What did I complete or release? What still feels incomplete to me?

5. What were the most significant events of the year past? List the top three.

6. What did I do right? What do I feel especially good about? What was my greatest contribution?

7. What were the fun things I did? What were the not-so-fun?

8. What were my biggest challenges/roadblocks/difficulties?

9. How am I different this year than last?

10. For what am I particularly grateful?

Another suggestion: Consider listing all the things in your life of which you'd like to let go -- anything you no longer want. Give thanks for what they've brought you in terms of learning and usefulness and then burn the list. It's a symbolic gesture to help you release the

old and be open to the new. The next step is to list what you DO want -- experiences, knowledge, material things, relationships, healings, whatever.

In doing this, you'll be using the principle of vacuum -- releasing what you don't want and embracing what you do. On New Year's Eve, my wife and I, along with several friends and close family members will light a bonfire and burn our lists as well as a few other articles that represent something we no longer desire in our lives. For example, I plan to burn an old (and too big) article of clothing to symbolize a less-than-impeccable wardrobe and garments that belong to a heavier person than I am and will be.

I'm confident that anything you can do to make this year-end more dramatic in terms of your own personal and spiritual growth will be valuable.

Make it a great New Year by ending this one well.

By Michael Angier who can be reached at

(c) Copyright 2001 Success Networks International, Inc & Michael Angier


Socrates said the unexamined life wasn't worth living. One could also say that the unlived life isn't worth examining. It's important to reflect upon what's happened, what didn't, what worked and what we wish had worked better. Spend some time with yourself, a trusted friend and dialog and/or journal about the year past.

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December 28, 2001
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