Every year, we are bombarded with “Year in Review” headlines.  The best dressed, the top songs, and most fascinating people of the year.  But I like to do my own “Year in Review,” a self-reflective recap that helps me start of the New Year richer in wisdom.  Whether you view the experiences you’ve had over the last year as good or bad, each one offers an opportunity to head into the New Year better prepared than ever to live wisely and be resilient. Here’s what I learned.  How about you?

1.  Patience is relaxing.
From the moment I entered kindergarten a year early, I’ve always been on the fast track. I put a high value on doing things fast. Whether it was squeezing too much into my schedule, finishing college in three years or exceeding the speed limit, I always rushed towards a proverbial finish line. But this year, I sensed in my spirit a major shift. I learned this year that patience isn’t just a virtue is a more relaxing approach to life. Whether you are trying to figure if a relationship is right for you or whether it’s time to change careers, the answers don’t always come quickly. Be OK with that. Trust that divine timing is often not your timing – but it is perfect timing. Rather than rush, rest. Enjoy the journey.

2.  Love is action.
True love is action – it’s what you do because you decide to love a person unconditionally. It is not always easy, but it allows you the stability of knowing where you stand – independent of what the other person does.  Of course, sometimes love means making tough choices in a loving way – choices that empower you to love yourself. That’s good, too. Loving yourself is the best way to attract the kind of love you really want and deserve.

3.  The key to success is sticking with it.
This year was our business’ best year yet.  In nearly 12 years of business, there have been times when I was tempted to give up, get a job, or doubt my path.  But I never acted on those temptations. Deep down, I know I am called to this work. It is a part of who I am. So whatever it required, I’ve stuck with it. Thank goodness. I can’t imagine doing anything else than inspiring you to get unstuck, be unstoppable and live the fulfilling life you were called to live.

4.  Happiness is embracing what is and saying, “Thank you for this life of mine.”
I know you have goals. In fact, as humans we can’t be happy without goals.  We need something to aim for.  But while we are aiming – during that period in the meantime when we haven’t quite obtained what we want – there is a lesson being offered. It is a gift.  It is the chance to learn to be happy “while,” not just happy “when.”  Happy while you wait. Not just happy when you arrive. When you master that, you discover the key to contentment. Embrace what is. And find reasons to be grateful right where you are.

My challenge to you:  Start this year richer than you were a year ago. Reflect on the wisdom you’ve gained over the last 12 months.  What have you learned in the last 12 months? How will you apply those lessons in the New Year?

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Valorie Burton (www.valorieburton.com) helps people get unstuck so they can be unstoppable. She is the author of multiple bestsellers, including Successful Women Think Differently and Your 5-Minute Personal Coach Follow her on Twitter @valorieburton and Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/valorieburtonfanpage. valorieburton@valorieburton.com.

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