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The One Tool Will Change All Of Your New Years To Come!

Written by: S. Ryanne Stellingwerf, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


With the year coming to a close, many people are thinking about the new year. Along with that comes New Year Resolutions. Some people like them, some don’t. But since you are reading Brainz Magazine, it is pretty safe to assume that whatever you call them, you have goals. These goals will drive your momentum forward next year. But there is something you can do now that will act like rocket fuel for those goals.

As a highly accomplished individual, it’s easy to be hard on yourself. By working to be better every day, you are continually looking at the mountain ahead of you. But you never summit that mountain because as soon as the top appears, there is yet another mountain to climb. This is a never-ending process that drives you, but can eventually lead to burnout. Indulge me a moment for an illustration. Imagine you are a child who wants to be an Olympic Gold Medalist. You start training, practice your little heart out, and compete locally. You win your competition and everyone is thrilled. But next week, the regional competition is the focus. Then you win the regional competition and are thrilled, until the next day when training starts for the state competition. This continues for nationals, etc. until a victory barely warrants and evening of celebration. Plans are developed for the next level of competition before this one is even finished. This can lead to burnout.

Burnout can look like overwhelm, fatigue, moodiness, and a whole host of other things we don’t want in our successful life. There are tools however, that can help make your life of success sustainable; and this one, in varying forms should be one of your cornerstones.

Let’s look again at the mountain analogy. Think about climbing a mountain. Why are you doing it? Yes, in part it might be for the exercise. But it is most likely for the view, the fresh air, the new plants and animals you may see, and the new perspective on the surrounding area. Imagine you decide to climb the mountain and you put your head down and climb. You continue climbing with sheer determination and drive pushing forward until you get to the top. At the top, you realize that it took longer than you planned and it is time to hurry to get back down so you can get to work. You wonder why anyone would ever wanted to climb in the first place.

Now let’s try climbing the mountain a bit differently. You start up the mountain, and about thirty minutes in you pause and check out the view. Continuing on there new plants, flowers, and rocks that you pause to notice. There are animals grazing and birds riding the wind. Maybe you even stop for lunch and take in the amazing vastness. You continue up the mountain enjoying the changing views and perspective and when you reach the top, you stop and take pictures and write a bit in your journal about the experience. When you start down it is with a light heart and a soul-deep sense of accomplishment. Your steps are light and your mind is free of toil. You are now looking forward to another mountain and another view. This is the difference between taking time to embrace your accomplishments and just driving through. This is the change this exercise can bring to your life.

What is this magical tool? This very powerful tool sounds simple, but is extremely effective. Simply put, take some time today to look back over the past year. Now I know you’ve looked back at what you could have done better and what you want to change. But today I’m suggesting that you look back at everything you’ve accomplished. As high achievers, we are on a mission for constant improvement, refinement, and achievement. But I spend time daily with high achievers who are facing burnout and even health issues due in part to burnout. This tool practiced honestly and regularly, helps not only to mitigate burnout, but to add motivation, momentum, and drive to the goals you have for next year.

This is the process. Take some time and get out a journal, notebook, piece of paper, or blank document. Grab your favorite beverage, put on some music, get comfortable, and think about this last year. Think about where you were this time last year, and then go forward month by month, achievement by achievement, or life facet by facet (health, relationships, work, etc.). What has changed? What have you learned? What have you accomplished? What are you glad about? What are you grateful for that has occurred over this past year? Take time to remember. Take time to appreciate the work you’ve done to create those changes. Give yourself a mental pat on the back.

Just to illustrate a little more clearly, I recently asked someone what they accomplished this past year. They said “not a lot.” Well, we explored and there were a couple of accomplishments. Then I asked this First Responder “how many lives have you saved in the past year?” I received a blank look. This is so much a part of their job, that they don’t even think of it as accomplishing anymore. Families will celebrate holidays together because of the actions of this one person and they don’t even recognize these as achievements anymore. Make certain you aren’t neglecting to notice the miracles you accomplish as part of your daily routine!

The more you can learn to notice your accomplishments and take a bit of time to appreciate yourself for them, the more they can fuel your drive to achieve more. Dare I say, you might even decide to actually celebrate them! So this year, take some time to recognize what you’ve done and allow it to become rocket fuel for your next year!

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S. Ryanne Stellingwerf, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Ryanne Stellingwerf reinvented herself after spending a pivotal seven years working as a contractor on military bases in the Middle East. When she returned home to the US, she became a licensed psychotherapist in Montana specializing in Combat Trauma for military and first responders. She soon had an influx of strong successful professional women requesting her help and learned that the drive and passion in our American heroes is also embodied in our high achievers. But like our heroes, high achievers can also find themselves needing help with stress management as they are driving toward their goals. Ryanne now offers support and guidance to help high-achieving successful women find clarity and balance to make their lives not only sustainable, but fun, passionate, joyful, and ideal.



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