Goodbye 2016- What to leave behind and what to take into 2017

Career development

It’s less than two weeks until Christmas! The presents are being wrapped and it’s all systems go as we tie up loose ends. I don’t know about you, but 2016 has flown by for me. As I reflect back, it’s being an incredible year. I’ve pushed myself, taken bold risks, stepped outside my comfort zone and learnt to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

I wanted to share three questions I recently asked myself, in preparation for 2017. As the new year dawns and we begin the process of reflecting and compiling our new year’s resolutions, you might find these questions useful too.

1. What did I do that I was most proud of?

365 days. Ask yourself the question, what did I achieve? It may be how you handled yourself in a situation, something you have created, experienced, a goal you have achieved. It could be something in your career, within your community, your role as a wife or a mother.

Shall I share mine? Mine was to have the courage to leave my old employer. I’d been with them for 12 years and it was my time to leave. I’ve seen brilliantly talented people trade happiness and fulfilment for comfort and security. I decided I didn’t want to be one of those people. By leaving, I opened the doors to so many possibilities. I’m proud I found the courage to take the step into the unknown.

2. What lessons did I learn that I can leverage?

I’ve made a lot of mistakes. In fact, I consider myself a champion mistake maker. But what I hope I do, is not make the same mistake twice. It’s funny how we are conditioned to think that mistakes are a bad thing. To me, a mistake is a learning opportunity and something you can leverage. If you’re not making enough mistakes, you’re not pushing yourself hard enough. What was one of your greatest lessons this year?

Mine, which I will leverage next year, is to stand up and be counted. Although I’m an extrovert, I was brought up in a fairly traditional Chinese family. In our culture, we’re taught loyalty and respect, especially for elders. You’d never think of questioning or challenging someone who’s older or more senior than you.

This year, when I was in a room of very senior people, I had good ideas but I didn’t voice my opinion. As I drove home I kicked myself at missing a fantastic opportunity. I vowed from that moment to back myself, and raise my hand even when it feels unnatural.

3. What am I willing to let go of?

Are you a hoarder? If I could, I would keep it. I have a closet full of clothes too small. I keep them in hope that one day I’ll fit them again. Seriously… I still have the jeans I wore during my uni days. So this December I’m going to do a proper wardrobe clear out!
My question to you is, what are you willing to let go of? Maybe it’s a toxic relationship, a hurt or disappointment. Whatever it may be, now is a great time to make peace and let it go. Why take that baggage into a new year?

2016 is almost over and this is our final post. Take a moment to reflect. It’s so easy to be busy with the festive season. But make space in your life for what matters the most.

I want to thank the Accelerate Community for opening up and sharing their stories to enrich and empower others.

I wish you all a fabulous Christmas and look forward to changing the world with you in 2017.