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It’s time for a year in review. Your year.


Well, it’s the end of another year. Time flies, as they say.

If you watch TV (a questionable activity for anyone seeking success), you’ll see a ton of shows about “the year in review” or “the best and worst of the year.”

Whether it’s news, sports, celebrities, jailbirds, politics, the year in pictures, wars or zoo animals, there’s a year-end show about it. Among all the blather, there is one short clip I always watch — who died.

Some networks display photos of the people, along with their year of birth and year of death. Of course I’m looking at “who died,” but I am also looking at how close their year of birth was to mine.

The older they are, the better I feel. However, there are always some who died that were younger than I am. That is a wake-up call. It’s my personal wake-up call. When the Rolling Stones sang, “Time Is on My Side,” they were wrong. Dead wrong.

If you’re looking for the perfect time to make goals for the next year, do it right after you watch the people who passed this past year.

All this got me thinking. Suppose they made a “year in review for Jeffrey Gitomer.” What would that look like? What were the 10 best things and 10 worst things that happened to me?

It’s a show few people would tune in to, obviously. Nonetheless, the exercise is powerful. I started out with a few positive events. Then I added a nagging negative one. Then I settled in and thought about everything. There were so many good things and so few bad things.

What a mind-opening exercise.

Here’s how to do it. Open your computer’s word processing file and start typing. List the three or four best things that happened to you. For certain, one or two bad things will be rattling around in your head. As soon as you write them down, your mind will clear for a few more good ones. Keep going. Achievements, milestones, big goals completed, big sales made, awards won, special family events — everything good you can think of.

Then start on the bad things. The things that went wrong. The failures. The taxes you paid. The sadness. Be sure to list the people who died who were close to you or had an impact on your life. For me this year, it was the passing of Art Carney, who played Norton on “The Honeymooners.” He was one of a kind.

One thing that was interesting is that the items that made my bad list, other than deaths, were mostly in my control. I predict it will be the same for you.

Now that you have made the list, read the good things again. I’ll bet you will remind yourself of even more good events. Add them, too. And as you pass the day, your year will be rattling around in your head, and a few more things, both good and bad, will come to mind. Rush to the list and capture them all.

OK, so you have the list. Now what?  The obvious answer is: Predict the future.

What would you like to happen next year? What bad things would you like to repair or eliminate? Where would you like to improve? What are you trying (hoping) to achieve?

Just make a list.

It was easy to list what happened. Think about what you could have predicted at the beginning of the year. My guess is that you could have predicted half of what you achieved. The rest, based on my experience, were most likely serendipity colliding with hard work.

But please don’t confuse “resolutions” with “achievements.”

List your top 10 events for next year.

Go on. Put in writing what you want to have happen to you. Pick a few of your last year’s failures and give them a 180-degree turnaround. Predict a few awards. Make something great happen. You deserve it.

Predict your best year yet, and it’s as good as gold.

FREE GitBit. I have a great way to make goals a reality. All you need is a pack of Post-it Notes, and my formula. You already have the Post-it Notes. To get my formula, go to www.gitomer.com. Register if you’re a first-time user and enter the words “post it” in the GitBit box.

President of Charlotte, N.C.-based Buy Gitomer, Jeffrey Gitomer gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts Internet training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or by e-mail at salesman@gitomer.com.

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