2017: Leaving the Bad and Bringing the Good

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I love this time of year – and not just for the opportunity to eat mince pies for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I love it for the opportunity to draw a line in my life, to pause and take stock, and to turn the page into a fresh new calendar feeling renewed.

But you can’t start 2017 feeling renewed if you’re dragging a load of bad stuff from 2016 with you.

So the purpose of this blog post is to help you step into the new year feeling light and full of hope.

It all revolves around four simple questions:

What didn’t work for you this year?

And what have you learned from the things that didn’t work?

What did work for you this year?

And what have you learned from the things that worked?

Let’s look at each question in a little more depth…

What didn’t work for you this year?

Although it can be all too tempting to try and block out the bad events of the year and pretend they never happened this exercise gives you the chance to try and make sure they never happen again. And we all want that, right?

So to begin, take some time to jot down all the things that didn’t work for you this year.

It could be a decision you made that you now really regret.

It could be a relationship that brought you nothing but stress.

It could be some limiting beliefs about yourself and your life that held you back.

It could be that you chose to react to a certain person or situation in a way that didn’t serve you at all.

Things that didn’t work for me in 2016 include: wasting too much time fearing things that never even came to pass. Not wholeheartedly pursuing my burning desire to start writing books for adults again … again out of fear. Another thing that didn’t work for me was getting way too angry about political events in 2016. My anger didn’t achieve anything and only made me feel worse. These are all choices that I now regret.

But you can turn your regrets from 2016 into hope for 2017 by asking yourself the second question: What have you learned from the things that didn’t work? 

I’ve learned that there’s no point fearing something that hasn’t yet and may never yet happen. I’ve learned that I shouldn’t let fear stop me from pursuing my burning career dreams because our time here is precious and short and if we don’t honour our deepest desires we risk a life of disappointment and regret. I’ve learned that what the world needs is more love, not anger, and when I write about love I get an overwhelming response from others.

When you’ve answered the first two questions in full move on to the third:

What did work for you this year?

Write a list of all the things you’re proud or grateful for in 2016; the things that went well.

It could be that you’re proud of a work or academic achievement.

It could be that you’re grateful for a friendship or relationship.

Maybe you’re proud of a choice you made.

Perhaps you’re grateful for the opportunities 2016 gave you.

Things that worked for me in 2016 include: Helping someone close to me navigate a difficult period in their life. The publication of my novel The Moonlight Dreamers. Relaunching my writing coaching service. Starting running again. Going to a regular dance class. Moving to a brand new part of the UK. Making some amazing new friends.

When you’ve completed your list ask yourself the final question: What have you learned from the things that worked?

I’ve learned that nothing beats the feeling of helping someone you love back to happiness. I’ve learned that I can write a book about friendship and diversity and people will want to read it. I’ve learned that when I coach other people and help them achieve their writing dreams I go into a magical, ‘I was born to do this’ zone that can’t be beaten. I’ve learned that starting the day with a run means starting the day on a high. I’ve learned that dancing brings me infinite amounts of happiness. I’ve learned that the biggest dreams – like moving to a brand new place – always scare the hell out of you at first. I’ve learned that by taking a risk and going out on my own when I first moved and trying every weird and wonderful thing on offer, I quickly found my tribe.

Once you’ve answered all four questions re-read your answers and really absorb the lessons.

Use all you’ve learned to form the foundations of your new year.

Resolve to let go of the bad.

And bring the good.

Wishing you all a 2017 full of joy, peace and dreams coming true.

Siobhan x

Do you need help achieving a writing dream?

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If one of your dreams for 2017 is to write a book but you’re unsure where to start, or need some help getting focused, my Finding the Plot coaching session could be just what you need.

Finding the Plot is a deep-digging, plot-seeking, character-developing, half-day session with me designed to get you focused and fired up to write your novel, non-fiction book, short story collection, screenplay or script.

Here’s what two  recent clients had to say about working with me:

“I keep getting loads of ideas now. Our session definitely shifted something in me. I’m daydreaming about my story all the time. Thank you so much for your input and enthusiasm, it really has had a huge effect on me.”

 

“Thank you so much for yesterday’s session. I came away feeling enthused and excited about writing again (which is no mean feat, considering how reluctant I was to start re-writing!)”

Find out more about Finding the Plot and how I can help you here.