By Liora Mendeloff, President & Founder, Women Speakers Association
Santa Monica, CA USA

“Make new goals but keep the old…one is silver and the other’s gold.” Sound familiar? For those former Girl Scouts out there, you’ll no doubt recognize the “upgrade” to the old chant we once sung  in our youth. As I was closing out 2011 with my year-in -review as I do every year, this melody kept popping into my head. And then it hit me…last year’s goals are like old friends. Here’s what I mean…

As you do your year-in-review and revisit your goals for 2011, I invite you to add a new level of observation to the process. So often we can reflect with judging eyes. So often we only see what we haven’t accomplished and fail to celebrate what we have. So, before you take out that list of goals, check in to see who you’re bringing forth to read those goals. Is it the critic or the raving fan?

The thing to realize is this…whatever you did or didn’t check off your “To Do List” in 2011, whatever seeming pitfalls you may have experienced, whatever losses you had to cut, dissapointments you had to face or opportunities you missed…know that it all serves a purpose. All the things you did and all the things you didn’t do add up to who you are and where you are today, which has prepared you for what’s to come and who you will be tomorrow. It’s like each year is R&D (research and development) for the next. This New Year isn’t starting over from scratch. It’s standing on the shoulders of the year before.

In reviewing your year, focus on the lessons learned and the opportunities that have caused you to grow and become more of who you truly are. That’s what it’s all about! So as you move into the New Year, skip beating yourself up for what you didn’t check off that list. Instead, embrace the things undone that still speak to you and bring them with you into 2012. Let go of your unfulfilled expectations and send your perfectionist on vacation.

With this perspective, looking back we always see with clearer eyes. If you step into the future one year from today from this vantage point, you will inevitably recognize, understand and perhaps even give thanks for all the challenges you moved through this past year. Why? Because all of it has expanded your capacity to become more of who you truly are.

The moral…when reviewing 2011, consciously choose to leave the critic at home and bring that part of you that’s grateful for it all. Self-judgement and regret is old school. Self-acceptance and compassion is the name of the new game. Remember…the new goals may be shiny and new, but like an old friend, the gifts you’ve gained from the old ones are worth more than gold.

Liora Mendeloff is a Speaking Industry Expert, with 20+ years of experience behind-the-scenes with some of the world’s greatest thought leaders, government officials, celebrities and entrepreneurs, in helping them fulfill their vision.  Liora’s driving force is to facilitate getting women and their core message out into the world, the purpose behind her newest venture, the Women Speakers Association and her company, the secret tool used by the Pro’s to get seen, get booked and get paid!