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A Jarful of Joy in 2023!

As 2022 winds down this holiday season and we begin gearing up to welcome the start of 2023, it is time now to partake in a yearly tradition practiced by high-performing individuals all over the world: the end of year personal reflection.

Before you start listing out your resolutions for 2023, it is critical for us to take a look back at the resolutions that we had penned down for 2022 and celebrate how far we’ve come and evaluate, perhaps, how much further we have left to go.

This time let’s do it the PEP way!

Big Rocks and Pebbles

Perhaps the most straightforward approach we can take is to simply ask ourselves: “What were some of the big rocks that I managed to clear in 2022?”

If you are familiar with PEPWorldwide Asia’s Jar Story, a Big Rock, within the context of work, is typically a big project or a goal that is important and impactful, something that will have consequences when achieved (or not achieved). It can also be applied to a more personal context; someone’s Big Rock for 2022 could be to get married, for example, or to move to a bigger house, perhaps buying a new car, or even losing 15 kilograms of body fat.

When you penned down your resolutions at the end of last year, you were generally listing out your desired Big Rocks for your 2022 Jar. If you’ve been consistent and focused, you might have been able to clear many of the Big Rocks in your Jar. In that case, congratulations! Celebrate your success with a pat on your back, or perhaps a small celebration with your loved ones this holiday season!

To add to your accomplishment, studies have repeatedly shown that the vast majority of people fail to put themselves into this category. Research and polling have shown that up to 91% of those who made New Year resolutions have been unable to accomplish them, with some estimating that up to 50% have abandoned their Big Rocks by the time mid-year comes around.

So to those who have managed to cross off your Big Rocks in your 2022 Jar, kudos to you!

Big Rocks VS Pebbles

However, maybe due to your year not going as planned, you’ve found yourself here at the end of 2022 with a Jar still full of Big Rocks that you’ve not been able to break through.

If that is the case, don’t be too hard on yourself. Keep things in perspective. Perhaps it is more productive to reflect on failure and re-examine your approaches, even relooking at your year through a different frame of mind.

You may not have been able to clear, say, five Big Rocks. Instead, you were able to clear twenty smaller Pebbles that support the Big Rocks?

For example, instead of losing 15 kilograms in 2022, you were able to lose 5 kilograms instead. Your accomplishment, therefore, isn’t as big as you originally wanted it to be, but it is still an accomplishment nevertheless. Perhaps, instead of being able to buy a new car, you were able to save enough money for half of the down payment required.

When it comes down to it, clearing off a Pebble from your Jar is better than accomplishing nothing at all. Moreover, a Pebble could be part of a bigger rock that you’re trying to clear!

Another point to note is that you are far more likely to take ownership of your Big Rock or Pebble if you have put them in your Jar willingly and with intention, and not just for the sake of having one. For each resolution, go beyond the surface of “What do I want to achieve?” and ask “Why do I want to accomplish this?” and, importantly, “How will I do this?”

Big Rocks that have no meaning to you will quickly crumble into sand.

Hold Your Jar Close

Ultimately, everyone is in charge of their own respective Jars and only you can decide what Big Rock or Pebble you would like to fill it up with. Remember that there are only so many Big Rocks that a Jar can hold and that forcing in more than what your Jar can hold is not only unhealthy but also detrimental to your motivation.

Your Jar is your own, and for that reason, you have to be the one to keep it close to yourself to check, re-evaluate, and re-examine.

Your Jar is also not meant to stress you out or to put pressure on yourself; it is there to help you find your way towards personal joy and satisfaction.

With the new year coming our way, it is time to take stock of what we have in our Jars, and re-evaluate what we’d like to keep in it. As they say, out with the old and in with the new!

Have a Happy New Year!

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