2017: What Worked, What Didn’t Work?

By Jay Forte, Coach, Author, Educator

The end of another year has arrived. When you take the time to stop and assess 2017, what worked and what didn’t work? What does this tell you about how to proceed in 2018 to have a successful year?

When you take the time to tune in and notice what’s happening in your world, you give yourself information about your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Then, by assessing this information, you are better prepared to do more of what worked and to improve on what didn’t work.

Be aware that it’s habit to label events as good or bad, right or wrong, especially when we assess the past year. This can inhibit our ability to see the real information available to us because we get stuck in the emotions and feelings associated with each event. We lose what the event or moment can teach us.

Learning to focus on what worked and what didn’t work helps to direct your attention to productive information that you can use to better understand your world and make better decisions.

To get started, tune in to the key areas of your life, like work, relationships and finances, and create a sheet to summarize what worked and what didn’t work in each area. Ask yourself questions like:

  • In 2017, how well did I manage my money and spending?
  • In 2017, how successful were my personal relationships?
  • In 2017, how did my career progress?
  • In 2017, how well did I take care of myself / my health?
  • In 2017, what progress did I make in understanding my unique talents and abilities?

Be honest with yourself as you reflect and record your thoughts. What went according to plan, why and how can you do more of it in 2018? What didn’t go according to plan, why and how can you learn from it and improve in 2018?

Summarize what you notice without a right or wrong, good or bad judgment. Just gather information. Remember to look at life’s events as productive and unproductive. This information is like gold – it guides you in what to consider going forward.

So, as 2017 comes to an end, stop, notice and reflect on what worked and didn’t work. From that information, consider how you can do more of what worked and how you can improve or address what didn’t work. You now have a starting point to make a remarkable 2018.

Wishing you a most successful personal and professional new year.

Important Questions from a Coach

  1. How will you make time to review 2017 to learn from your successes and challenges?
  2. How will you stop labeling things as good or bad, and shift to what worked and what didn’t work?
  3. How will you let the information you learn about 2017 better prepare you to make wise decisions in 2018?


Consider reading What Will You Do To Make Your Year Amazing?

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The Greatness in the Small Things

By Jay Forte, Coach, Author, Educator

Remember the song, “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music? The things listed in the song were small things, “raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,” and “doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles.” Small things like these are the gifts we are given daily to make life’s moments greater, happier and richer.

But to appreciate and benefit from life’s moments, you have to stop and notice them.

Wherever you are at this exact moment, what are five small things you notice around you, and how do they add value to your life?

Here is my list:

  • I am at my desk, writing this blog, and out my window is a view of some of south Florida’s great plants, blooming at this exact moment.
  • I have a hand carved Buddha on the corner of my desk that keeps me company each day with a serene and kind face, reminding me to be the same.
  • I have pictures of my kids and grandson, and pictures of my siblings and me when we were kids, reminding me of some of the important people who fill my life with joy and opportunity.
  • I have notes to call clients back, which means I’m fortunate enough to have work to keep me busy.
  • I have a Starbucks cup that still has a little coffee left, which means I get a few more sips of one of my favorite drinks.

These five small things make my life better. But to benefit from them, I have to take the time to notice them, and when I do, they change my outlook. They change me from the inside out; life and work is better.

Isn’t it ironic that the small things don’t demand our attention, but they have so much to share with us? Maybe that is why we can so easily pass right over them. But it’s in the moment we start to notice them when we immediately see our lives become richer, bolder and better. These small things add value to each moment.

So what are the five small things around you? How does each of them help make this moment better? How do these same things keep you more focused and help you stop looking too far ahead, missing what is right in front of you?

Life is punctuated by big events and big things, but daily life is amplified by the small events and small things. In the aggregate, they add up to something amazing. Don’t miss them. All they require is for you to notice them, enjoy them and be better because of them.

Important Questions from a Coach:

  1. How will make time to stop and notice the small things in your life?
  2. How will you celebrate the small things in life?
  3. How will you share what you know about stopping and noticing the small things in life with the people you care most about?

Need help learning to focus on what’s right here, right now? Consider working with a coach to expand your mindfulness to be able to see and enjoy the things that fill each of your moments.


Consider reading Learn to See the Good.

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