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Expectations | Your Next Year Puzzle Continued

Updated: Nov 19, 2023

Can You Identify the Stories You Tell Yourself?

It's one way to find puzzle pieces as you start down the "road" called 2024

Is it your self image? Perhaps...

So you have the four corner pieces now - Time, Health, Resources, and Relationships. Your puzzle will fill in much faster if these four anchor it. Within each corner are habit patterns that will support you and some you must throw 'over the side'. Those processes will play out as next year unfolds, and will control outcomes to a large degree.

Further, Your Resources are both Internal, and External. Since the External is patently more obvious, everything inside tends to get short shrift. Yet, your internal self talk is one primary control of outcomes.

Later on, before you start the New Year, we can review the External. For now, please discipline yourself NOT to go there. It's a new path forward we are seeking for your planning. "When you come to a fork in the road, take one." Yogi Berra

This is a road of "Aha". There are many there if you stay on it.

How Can You Find and Select Puzzle Pieces?

Daily or weekly journaling is one way. Often recommended, seldom used. I do know that even a weekly photo journal can help. Try it. Do as much of it as you can next year.

But in this blog we have to move quickly. My job is to get you moving. So, I have one template type answer for you and one that will take more time. Both will be sources you can use and reuse as the year unfolds.

As a Certifed Retirement Coach I am familiar with many books on the subject, and the authors as well. This is one for your bookshelf and well suited to helping you examine the stories you are telling yourself. Those stories may be thought of as your self image. You may find Marianne's beautiful book all you ever need.

Next I have a short template list that will serve you as you move into the future. Here are "pieces" you can begin to place somewhere within the four corners that will modify and expand in a positive way whatever your stories may presently be. There are 10, but start with just one or two. Maybe work on one every month in 2024 and take 2 months off. Just start somewhere!


1. Make Your Future Bigger Than Your Past

2. Make Your Learning Greater Than Your Experience

3. Make Your Contribution Bigger Than Your Reward

4. Make Your Performance Greater Than Your Applause

5. Make Your Gratitude Greater Than Your Success

6. Make Your Enjoyment Greater Than Your Effort

7. Make Your Cooperation Greater Than Your Status

8. Make Your Confidence Greater Than Your Comfort

9. Make Your Purpose Greater Than Your Money

10. Make Your Questions Bigger Than Your Answers

These are "Laws" of the Growth Mindset. It's sort of a methodology that helps you change the stories you tell yourself about your SELF. Again your bookstore, or Amazon will have the complete version.

This book is written by Sullivan and Numura - two very successful Life Coaches. I have used this and other exercises in their books - all very good, but you have to do a little reading to find your fit.

Let's assume you pick number 5. After all it's almost Thanksgiving so it is timely. "Make Your Gratitude Greater Than Your Success". As an example, a 'PUZZLE PIECE' for you could be saying this to yourself: "I like to have a weekly list handy of people I need to thank. (Especially those close to me). I put in my list a thought or two about them that makes my life more enjoyable. I check off weekly when I follow up on the list".

Finally, Happy Thanksgiving! I'm going to say thanks to you for reading this blog. Your comments on it are very gratifying to me even when they aren't positive.

More next week - share your thoughts when you can - it improves them and you as you do it. Good Hunting!

Happy Days Ahead

Joe Grant, MBA

Certified Retirement Coach

Contact me for a Free 45 minute Consultation at

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