How to kick 2016 to the curb and embrace 2017 with hope.

Goodbye, 2016.

Twenty-sixteen has a bad reputation. For a lot of reasons, for a lot of people, 2016 has been personally and professionally difficult. I’ve been watching various videos on Facebook attempting to redeem the year with a reminder of the good things that have happened. A sort of ‘let’s not lose sight of the good’ initiative to salvage a reputation that, perhaps, is not 100% accurate.

Perhaps social media is regretful because they have also managed to convince us that 2016 stunk. In fact, my editor mentioned that the seemingly global belief in the low-quality year we’ve might be due to a phenomenon called confirmation bias which “refers to processing information by looking for or interpreting information that is consistent with one’s existing beliefs” (Source: confirmation-bias). For example, you hear 2016 wasn’t great over and over, you form it as a belief, and then you only look for information that supports that conclusion. You gather, keep, and share information that confirms the very thing you would like to be true (Source: PsychologyToday).

I suppose it comes down to perception and experience. How we feel about a year, a holiday or an event can be coloured by one or several bad experiences that trump any of the good experiences. In short, they are just bigger in our brains. Maybe the year is coloured by a divorce or the loss of a loved one. Maybe it’s a challenging relationship, illness, lack of profit in your business, an election, or maybe it’s just a year where you got kicked around – a lot.

So, maybe 2016 has unfairly gotten a bit of a bad rap, or maybe 2016 has earned its lacklustre place in our history.

I have to admit, I am with the masses — 2016 has felt arduous and long. Like I’ve been trudging through the snow only to never arrive anywhere warm that has hot cocoa. I cannot see where the trudging will end. It has felt exhausting. I can look back and see some wins in my year but that doesn’t seem to quell my anticipation of this year coming to a close.

In my brain years are a circle, almost like a clock. As one year clicks over to the next, I feel like we get another shot, a re-start, a ‘let’s see what we can do with this one’ view. A new year is a chance to forgive what is behind and an opportunity to embrace what may be ahead, which, of course, none of us really know.

What can you do to refocus and go into 2017 with some hope?

  1. Be honest with yourself about what was bad and what was not so bad. Be confident no one comes through life unscathed and that you survived so far, which is an accomplishment and a blessing any way you slice it.
  2. Take a realistic look at the bad, and accept what you could have changed and what you could not have. Give yourself a break if you have faced things out of your control. I am learning as I grow that there is far less I am actually responsible for versus what I thought I was responsible for. What are you taking on that is really someone else’s load to carry?
  3. Dream a little. Look into 2017 and dream about good things, good adventures and good people. Believe in what’s possible. Believe.
  4. Look to use the lessons you have learned, good or bad, to benefit others. Paying it forward may be a cliché, but it evolved out of something very positive and is a great way to realign your hope and your self-view. Where can you use your power for good?
  5. Be unapologetic for letting 2016 move to history. Help it pack. Let it go. Don’t misjudge 2016, but don’t be afraid to be glad it’s over. I know I am.

I will leave you with two things, first is a wish for an adventurous, inspiring and better 2017, even if it was good, why not have a better year. Second is a selection of words from Dr Seuss’ “Oh! The Places You’ll Go!” because, as far as I can tell, the ability to have hope is sometimes the only medicine we need. Happy New Year.

Congratulations!

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets.
Look ‘em over with care.
About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.
And you may not find any
you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you’ll head straight out of town.

It’s opener there
in the wide open air.
Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.

OH!
THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!

2 Comments
  • Mark Swiderski
    Posted at 16:36h, 10 January Reply

    Tanya,

    Some people believe that the glass is half empty and some believe that it is half full. I like to thing it is full (half liquid and half air). So many time we put these artificial boundaries around something like 2016. I am happy to be alive, thinking about the future, and grateful for blessings. I don’t have to look to far to find someone who doesn’t have it as good as I do (no matter what my station is in life, and I have had some rough years). Often we assign value to somethings that are not that important (an election year, Brexit, stock market up/stock market down, etc.). Things will be better and things will be worse. We have to take these events and consider what we are going to do about them. I have a friend who said it is never as good as you think and it is never as bad as you think. That stuck with me.

    Now is the best time to be a better you. Now is the best time to plan, grow, now is the best time to build better relationships, and now is the best time to achieve a new and better you. I know this may sound a bit like Pollyanna but we have survived setbacks and bad things. Where some see challenges others see opportunities. We can pay it forward. We can do something nice for someone. We can thank someone who didn’t expect it for things that they have done for us.

    Simply be awesome! Now is the time.

  • Maria
    Posted at 02:58h, 15 January Reply

    2016 has not been easy and I think that year was like “passing through fire”. But as gold is purified in furnace, so does hardships make a better person. Cannot quit & run away. So it’s better to take one thing at a time & be thankful for every moment whether good or bad & try to do the best. Requires lot of strength but life is a one way street. Time once gone, never comes back.

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