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2017 Annual Review: How to Evaluate Your Life Even When You’re Feeling Sad

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Last year I resisted my Annual Review for the first time in 10 years. This year, what can I say… I guess it’s the second wave of resistance.

Over the past month I’ve entered a season of wandering in the wilderness. I don’t want to sound overly mopey, so I’ll spare you the details. I know I’ll get through it at some point; it’s just hard to celebrate accomplishments or feel festive at the moment.

Still, there are several reasons why I’m going to proceed with the review:

First, the unexamined life is not worth living—at least according to a wise person like Socrates or Bill Murray. Only by looking at things the way they are, not the way we might wish them to be, can we truly set an intention and ensure that anything within our realm of control is aligned with that intention.

Second, joy and sorrow can co-exist. Looking back, I know I can I feel proud of some of the work I did this year. And it’s not just work: I also feel proud of a lot of personal growth as well. I do feel more self-aware than ever, for better or worse (or maybe for better and worse).

Last, in recent weeks I’ve been thinking about this quote a lot:

“You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.” -Jonathan Safran Foer

Let’s not sugarcoat it. I’ve long chosen highs and lows instead of a mediocre flatline. So for all these reasons, on with the review.

Here’s How It Works

If you’d like to learn about the approach I use for the review, here are a few starting points:

1. Read the original post

2. Download this free tool (more about this in a moment)

3. Before doing anything else, make two lists consisting of a) what went well and b) what didn’t go well this year

Revised Spreadsheet Template (Download for Free)

The main phase of the review is forward-looking, not retrospective. I spend most of my time thinking about goals, values, and decisions.

For the whole eight nine ten years I’ve used the same simple spreadsheet to set goals in various life categories. It’s a very basic tool. It won’t win any design awards, but it will help you to think more clearly about your life, which is probably more important.

We’ve recently tweaked the formatting and added a few more data points, so be sure you have the current version:

—>Download the Updated Annual Review Template

Some have questioned whether a spreadsheet is sufficient to truly devise what matters to you and plan your life accordingly. This is a valid concern—we first need to ensure that our goals match up with our values and overall vision.

No amount of goal-setting will help if you’re pursuing the wrong goals. However, I do believe (strongly!) that being specific about our intentions and tying them to measurable milestones is good for us.

If you haven’t done it before, give it a try. And if the template structure doesn’t work for you, don’t hesitate to modify it however it serves you best.

In the next few posts I’ll share some of my reflections on 2017, as well as a look ahead at the next year. Stay tuned…

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Image: Andrew

Click Here For Original Source Of The Article

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About Darren Webb

Hello & Welcome to my blog. My name is Darren Webb and i'm on a magical successful journey and also helping others have a more stress free relaxed life. I truly hope that you find a lot of useful information on my blog and that it helps you through your life. Please feel free to contact me at any time.

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3 Little-Known Benefits of Gratitude That Naturally Boost Confidence

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That’s where it’s at, right?

That effortless ease some others have.

You know, they seem to glide through their day, deftly juggling all kinds of awkward  situations.

Getting on. Getting ahead.

Looking good.

Doing great.

But how do they do it?

Because it can feel nigh on impossible sometimes to have that ease, that self-possession and  self-confidence.

The kind that turns heads.

How do they do that?

It's simple really.

And it's nothing to do with genes, natural intelligence or ability.

They simply feel good… about themselves.

Hold up. That’s sounds obvious, asinine even.

I thought so too. Until I found my ease, my own self-possession and confidence.

But I don’t know if you’re ready for the  answer.

It sounds too left of center. Too simple. And too ethereal to have any real impact.

Yeah, that’s what I used to think too.

But then I discovered that gratitude is life-changing. And no more so than in the area of personal confidence.

Here are three ways gratitude naturally boosts your confidence;

1.Higher Self-Esteem

Have you noticed that how you feel about yourself affects everything you do?

It makes your day go great, or not so great, depending on how highly you rate your self-worth. Tricky situations are many times more difficult to deal with if your inner voice is whispering negative or critical comments to you.

Heck, even your routine day is harder to manage with a fault-finding, gremlin constantly carping on. Nothing you do seems good enough and everyone else seems to be doing way better… at everything.

But what has gratitude got to do with self-esteem?

Surely it’s about appreciating others, good fortune that comes our way and the other positive aspects of our lives?

Yes. But that’s far from all of it.

Practicing gratitude also includes appreciating all of your qualities, attributes and abilities. It includes recognizing all that’s great and good in you. And valuing the incredible contributions you make each and every day.

What a fabulous way to build and maintain healthy self-esteem! And there’s more…

Gratitude is shown to boost self-esteem by decreasing envy. Rather than begrudging where others have more - money, success, friends for instance – being thankful for what you have allows you to simply be happy for them.

Let gratitude naturally boost your confidence by helping you cultivate strong self-esteem

2. Better Relationships

Do you find yourself drawn to negative people who don’t appreciate kindness or good fortune?

No? Neither do other positive, thankful people. They’re drawn to like-minded souls, like you.

Gratitude makes you more positive, more upbeat, And that means positive, upbeat people  feel better around you. You light up their day. Your recognition of all the good things the day brings, gives them a boost as well.

And grateful people are much more likely to find aspects of other people's character or personality they like and appreciate. Which means relationships of all kinds flourish the better.

And none more so than in those very important, close personal relationships.

Grateful people say ‘thank you’ more often and are also much less negative and critical of their partners, especially face to face. This has been shown to extend the satisfaction and length of the relationship on both sides.

Let gratitude strengthen your relationships at all levels. Strong, secure relationships breed strong, secure self-confidence.

3. A Greater Sense of Belonging

Did you know that practicing gratitude can make you feel a valuable part of where you live?

Appreciating all the great things about where your home is located goes way beyond just making you feel safe and secure.

Those who practice gratitude feel close to their community and give 20% more of their time and money. They have a strong a connection with those around them and experience less loneliness or feelings of isolation.

And loneliness and isolation breed self-doubt and low self-esteem.

Let gratitude give you a sense of community, a sense of confidence built on a sense of belonging.

Boost your confidence naturally with gratitude.

Life is so much easier when you feel at ease with yourself.

Self-assurance gets your back in every situation. It lets you walk tall, with poise and grace.

And confidence, that’s the ultimate air ride in life. It lets you glide where you previously stumbled.

Who would ever have thought gratitude has such an enormous and far-reaching part to play in attaining those magical qualities. The ones that seemed so impossible to grasp.

Ready to get on? Get ahead?

With Gratitude you’ll be looking good. Doing great.

And you'll be the one turning heads.


Laura Tong is a regular contributor on The Huff  Post and other top blogs. Laura’s latest book, The Life-Changing Power of Gratitude is available on Amazon here.

Laura is Editor at Write To Done, one of the top writing blogs on the net and assistant Editor at Goodlife ZEN, one of the most respected self-improvement blogs. Grab her free cheat sheet: 5 Guilt Free Ways To Say No Without Offending Anyone (Even If You Hate Conflict)

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If you want a genuine long-term fix for unhealthy behaviors, you have to change the underlying beliefs that are triggering your actions. Thankfully we have a built-in guidance system for uncovering our belief systems. How we feel. Our emotional body is like a weather vane for all of our beliefs. Change how you FEEL and you will change how you behave.

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1. Start by paying attention to how you feel. Before, during and after the behavior, what was your emotional state? If this is an old pattern, you will probably struggle to stay conscious of how you feel before or during, but afterwards think back on your actions. How does it make you feel? Write it down.

2. Go below the “surface” emotions you wrote down, to identify the underlying insecurity. For example, say you feel like an idiot or are embarrassed by your behavior, the root insecurity might be “I feel like a loser” or “I feel I’m not good enough”. To get the most out of this process dig deep and be brutally honest about your insecurities.

3. Say out loud “I accept I feel ... “ and name the insecurities from step 2. Contrary to what you may think, acceptance doesn’t make things worse; it’s simply the honest acknowledgment of where you are at. In order for this Emotional Mastery process to work, we have to be in true acceptance. (Refusing to accept how we feel is like walking into the emergency room and refusing to tell the doctors where it hurts, but still expecting them to make us better.)

4. Look for the gifts or wisdom of feeling this insecurity. As I say in workshops “every negative emotion has something positive to teach us”. If you’re really struggling with this step, how are you a better person for knowing how it feels to experience this? Hint: are you more compassionate? Understanding? Patient?

5. Stop beating yourself up for your behavior and start thanking this part of you for trying to make you a better person. This disempowering behavior is actually teaching you to be more compassionate, understanding, patient, etc. Once we see it as a gift instead of a curse, we get into appreciation, one of the highest vibrational states we hold.

Congratulations! You’ve just transformed the emotion attached to your unhealthy behavior from self-abuse to appreciation, aka self-love. There are two schools of motivation: one of abuse and one of encouragement (another aspect of self-love). Which one do you think gets healthy, long-term results? Only after processing the underlying emotional hook of the insecurity into a positive, can we then “pre-pave” an empowering and healthy course of action. In your mind’s eye now visualize how you wish you’d behaved instead. Get really specific and pay attention to how you would feel as you played out this new behavior. When a similar situation arises in the future (and it will) you can then start practicing your empowering, healthy new action.

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