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As the year comes to a close and we spend our last days of 2016 with our friends, families, and loved ones, I want you to begin to think about how the last 365 days went for you.

No matter how “good” or “bad” you think you did this year, there’s value in taking an honest look at the results you created (or didn’t) WITHOUT judging yourself.

~Lewis Howes

In order to continue to grow, you must look at what worked and what didn’t.

Here are three things for you to do before 2017 arrives.

1. Reflect

It’s easy to get lost in your fast-paced life as you strive to achieve your goals, so it’s critical that you take a break to look back at your year. Here are some questions to ponder as you reflect on how you spent your time.

  • Did you make the most of the year or did you let the year slip by?
  • Did you do the things you set out to do?
  • Did you enjoy the moments or were you overstressed and overworked?
  • Did you take care of your health or did you neglect and abuse it?
  • Did you travel to the places you wanted to visit or did you waste time sitting on the couch at home watching TV?
  • Did you put yourself out there to meet new people and build stronger relationships with those you already know or did you let fear of rejection hold you back?

Take note of the feelings that you’re having. Think about what went well and what didn’t. Think about what didn’t go as planned and how you want to change that for the coming year.

2. Acknowledge

We often look for recognition from external sources, but we don’t look inward for self-acknowledgement. It’s time to acknowledge yourself for everything you created. If you achieved any of your goals, celebrate that. Most people dwell too long on what they didn’t achieve, and don’t acknowledge themselves for the amazing things they’ve done.

Acknowledge the progress you made this year. Write down 5 things you are most proud of that you did this year. Whether you achieved your goals or not, write down what you DID accomplish.

3. Express Gratitude

There have been so many people that have supported you this year, so let’s express our gratitude for their presence in our lives. I want you to send 10 messages to thank these people for helping you along your journey. These could be handwritten notes, video messages, emails, something that’s personal or intimate.

Gratitude will fill you up and it supports your heart. It will encourage you to bring in more into your life and live a life of abundance instead of scarcity.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. ~Melody Beattie” via=”no”]

I was inspired by the latest podcast episode of Lewis Howes’ School of Greatness to write this post, and I hope you find value in this as well. Please share this with your friends and family, so that everyone can finish strong for the year and get a head start on the next.

With so many platforms out there from podcasts to webinars to live video streaming, it can be hard to choose which one to first tackle when establishing a personal brand. Here are five reasons why you should consider blogging.

1. Create healthier life habits

By posting new blogs every week, this will help you create new habits and become more consistent with daily or weekly activities. It’s going to make you a better thinker and create a platform where you can share the valuable knowledge that you have and will gain as you continue to grow yourself. Blogging is going to require your commitment, time, and discipline which will help you with your own personal growth.

2. Refine your writing skills

One of the best ways to get better at something is to practice and take action. “Why not take a writing workshop?”, you may ask? There’s a saying, “One hour in the field is worth more than ten hours in the classroom.” Not only will you become a better writer, but this will help me with overall communication and improve how I articulate my thoughts.

3. Introduce myself to the world

If you plan on entering the online space, you’ve got to get more comfortable with being known. It’s not just that people will know a name and a face, but they’ll have insight into how you think and see the world. If you’re sharing stories and experiences of your life, it will show your perspective and thought process of the decisions that you make. Stories are how people will be able to relate and connect with you. It’s one of the best ways to give value to others.

4. Improve your future by reflecting on your past

Blogging can be your online journal for yourself. It will document your thoughts and ideas, so that you can look back and see how your views and opinions have changed over time. This will keep track of your personal growth that you’ll be experiencing and allow yourself to reflect which will in turn help me improve my future.

5. Connect and inspire

You’ll always be finding inspiration and motivation from amazing mentors and other entrepreneurs. Instead of being just a consumer, you need to be a producer of inspiration and motivation. If you can connect with at least once person and make a positive impact on their life, it’ll all be worth it.

If you’re not blogging, I hope this has helped you with your decision to start a blog. If you already have a blog, I’d love to check it out!