If the start of the new year has you feeling down, consider a reverse audit, where you go backwards through the past year and create a log book for each month that captures all your best moments.
To do this, start with a blank piece of paper and create a heading for each month. I use a 2 x 6 grid, but you do you. Now, pull out your phone and use your photos to remind you of key moments. Note them in the month they happened. Don’t overlook the small moments that you captured with a photo.
Next turn to your calendar and go through each day to see if it jogs your memory of any good moment. Often, a one-time event has much to offer, so don’t skip through this. In fact, use this review as a way to re-see all that happened as benefiting you.
Next pull up your bank account. Look at expenditures for things you enjoy. Place them on the list in the appropriate month. Credit card statements often help to remind of good meals or fun events. Note them all. In this way, begin to flesh out all the good moments from the past year. If you encounter a hard or painful moment, say this: I don’t see it now but one day all involved will realize a benefit from this. And if that’s a step too far, say, I am open to seeing that event in new ways.
As your log book of months begin to fill with good moments, remind yourself that you had a good year. You’re alive and looking forward to an even better year.
I have used this process for over a decade and every time I do it, I am astonished at how much goodness I find. Even in years that were hard. The reverse audit is also a great first step to planning out the next year. With all that good energy, start to day dream some new goals. Create a whole new sheet of months for 2024. Write out any event you want, based on the month you want to accomplish them.
Don’t hesitate to write things like, awesome Christmas for December 2024. Or, a great vacation in June even if you don’t know where yet. Or, it will be another fun back to school week. Fill up and pre-populate the year with all sorts of fun, inspiring events. and then say, this or something better. Shifting your mood always starts with shifting your perspective. By choosing to look for good moments, you will naturally shift your mood. From there, start to plan out an even better next year.
By choosing to look for good moments, you will naturally shift your mood. From there, start to plan out an even better next year.