If you had to choose one word to describe the year, what would you say? Was it Amazing? Successful? Horrible? Tragic?
I’ve seen and heard A LOT of people and memes declaring that 2016 was a horrible year. 2016 took a lot of celebrities, black lives, harambe and gave us quite the presidential election. There they was the personal losses and gains that differ for each of us. So that’s it, huh? Let’s just right off 2016 as a nightmare… I think not!

I’m not sure who taught ya’ll that it was okay to mope and complain about an entire year and expect a complete 180 from the next year. I wish you could see my eyes rolling right now. I want everyone reading this to realize that it’s imperative for you to reframe the past in order for your future to be successful.

So, maybe 2016 was horrible for you; but why? What was your contribution? Or the lack thereof? Did you make realistic and attainable goals? Did you fail to plan? Did you push through obstacles? Did you quit at the first sign of difficulty? Did you allow the actions and feelings of others dictate your reality?

Take some time to think about what you  could have done to make your year better? Could you have planned better? Could you have made SMART goals out of your new year’s “resolutions”? Could you have invested your time differently? Surrounded yourself with different people?

Here’s the bottom line: Every bad comes with good. Acknowledge what was positive about 2016. Maybe you did better in your classes than you thought. Maybe you finally got over your ex. Maybe you have a job, even if it’s not your dream job. Maybe you’re still alive to see another day, a new year. Even if you can’t think of anything positive from 2016, it’s important that you reframe your thinking. Instead of saying it was horrible and nothing went well, figure out what 2016 taught you and apply it the new year. Use 2016 as tool for success in 2017. Maybe 2016 is now a “what not to do” guidebook for 2017, and that’s okay.

After this reflection, decide what you will you change about your approach for 2017. Set better goals. Give yourself realistic expectations. Make smarter decisions. Surround yourself with better people.