Your Year End Review

Some American motivational speakers have a phrase. They refer to their “warm fuzzy file”. This may seem a trifle strange to UK ears, but the philosophy behind it is certainly sound.

By Phyllis Ballantyne

Reviewing Yourself
It seems to be human nature to dwell on mistakes, failures and the negative aspects of life. This is really sad because we all, without exception, have some achievements that are worth rewarding ourselves for.

The warm fuzzy file is simply a list of all the good things that you have done since your last review. These may be as simple as having a daily “To Do” list and then actually doing everything that is on it. They can be as simple as spending some time with someone who is lonely or smiling at a shop assistant. This doesn’t exclude the big things too but, if you focus on these, it is all too easy to lose sight of those little things that make a big difference to someone else.

As this year draws to a close, now is the ideal time to undertake your own warm and fuzzy list. You will be surprised how helpful it can be when you are having a day when things seem out of kilter. If you maintain your list regularly, you will be amazed at what you have achieved and this will spur you on to do even more.

Reviewing Your Relationships
For many, Christmas is a time when relationships are foremost in their minds. But for some, it is a time of deception, when the printed words of peace and love are in direct opposition to what they really feel inside.

At this time of year, any relationships that are under strain may totally split. As families gather together, old animosities and rivalries can bubble to the surface. The mature approach is to just let them go. It takes two people to have a disagreement. If one of them (you) decides that life is too short and makes a personal commitment to let the real happiness and peace that is Christmas become a reality, then there is no more argument. There is no point in winning a series of battles if you can simply end the war.

By reviewing your relationships at home, at work and in a social environment, you can create a strategy for repairing any that are suspect and for terminating the few that are beyond repair. If you use your energy to perpetuate grudges or feelings of envy or hurt, then you are using energy that could, and should, be directed towards more positive things – like building yourself the life that you truly desire.

There should be no blame, no right and no wrong; there is simply an outcome or result that arises from an action. If you can learn the actions that create harmony and peace, then the joy of Christmas really will, as the cards say, stay with you throughout the rest of the year. If you want to change somebody else, the only place you can begin is with changing yourself. And the only time you can start is right now.

Phyllis Ballantyne worked at a strategic level in the corporate world for 15 years, in distribution, manufacturing and customer service before setting up Life Confidence Coaching, based in Central Scotland. In heading up the organisation, she works as a personal development coach specialising in confidence coaching, helping individuals achieve what they deserve in life and business. Phyllis can be contacted on 01786 825018 or at

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