#2013Countdown, #9: What could you have done better this year? (Be honest with yourself)

This is the question #9 of the 13-Day #2013Countdown Challenge as we count down to the year of 2013 as one PE community. The challenge is now over, but you can still read more about it and participate in your own time. Visit the overview page for all 13 countdown questions.

2013 Countdown Challenge

Welcome to Day 5 of the 2013 Countdown Challenge! :D

2013 Countdown, Question #9…

Questions for the 13-day, 13-question countdown so far:

If you have not posted your responses yet, please do so before proceeding with today’s question.

Today’s question, question #9, is:

What could you have done better this year? (Be honest with yourself)

What could you have done better this year? (Be honest with yourself)

Put on your reflection cap and let your thoughts flow. Below is an empty form which you can use to write your answers to the question. Treat it as your self-reflection “room”.

(Note you will not see the form below if you’re viewing this in your email client. Visit the actual post online to see the form.)

What could you have done better this year? (Be honest with yourself)

Your Task

  1. Reflect and answer today’s question. There’s no word limit – whether minimum or maximum. Write as few or as many words as you want. It’s all up to what you want to express!
  2. Share your answer. After you are done writing, copy and paste your answer in the comments area and post it there.
  3. Check out other participants’ answers. Other participants will be sharing their answers too, so feel free to read and reply to their answers.

Look forward to reading your answers! :)

(After you are done, proceed to #8: What can you do to ensure you don’t repeat the same behaviors in 2013?)

Images: Field,  Review

  • http://www.readinganalysis.com Clara

    There is a long list that I could have done better this year:

    -read more and sleep less
    -work more and rest less
    -eat more and weighing less
    -exercise more and eat less
    -cooking at home than dine out
    -write better with more editing
    -care more than expect
    -love more than envy

    the same list is for the new year’s resolution :p

    • Bob

      Hi Clara,

      I noticed in your list that you want “more” of everything except for “cooking at home than dine out”. I think that quality does not necessarily always mean more, it could be efficient, less, effective.

      You have a good list, examine what you really want in one area to start, for example “cooking at home than dine out” – What’s your objective? To save money for XY or Z. To have healthier food. To have your food ready so you can do another activity? Clara by deciding How many meals you want to cook each week and the steps to achieve them you will start to complete this goal.

  • Ken

    This one is very easy for me.

    I know I could have been below 180 lbs. If I really kept up with my gym routine I might have been able to go down to 160 which is what my doctor said I should be.

    After Feb/March I use to go every day or 6 times a week to the gym. Then the fights at home started, then by April the decision to divorce was made, from there until Aug, I moved into the spare bedroom in the house. I know these are not valid excuses on why I could not maintain going to the gym 6 days a week, but I just didn’t have the mental energy to make myself go.

    Then in Sept I ended up moving out of the house. I did use the hotel pool once in a while, and their gym. But I know I could have done a better job.

    Then Oct I had vacation plans with a friend, and I moved back into my house. From there it was a purging process of old stuff around the house. By the end of Oct I had another vacation, but I started to go back to the gym. I think I’m in the 4-5 day routine now. But with the holidays coming up. The conventions at the end of the year, and just moving around, my pedometer recorded that I have been close to the 10000 steps per day goal.

    So my exercise might not have been at the gym, and I have been active.

    But I will get back on the 6 days a week routine. I started my gym membership on Jan 2 2012, and I plan to extend it again. My current member ship the following three months are free because of the coupon on I had for Jan 2 2012. But I might look at another membership but this time one with a pool.

    But this is the one thing I know I could have done better. No doubt about it.

    • Ken

      I just thought of one more thing I know I could have done better.

      It’s my reading ability and reading books. I have always been a very slow reader. I’m still not sure how I got through college. I was on the dean’s list a lot of my college career because of this. (Not the dean’s list that most people should be proud of….) But because of my slow reading, I have always struggled to read a book. I will start and get discouraged because it’s taking so long and I end up quitting. I’m 39 years old and I should have read hundreds if not thousands of books by now. I’m ashamed to admit it, but 30 books might be on the generous side if I counted how many books have I read cover to cover…

      My best friend pushes me to read and we try to read the same book at the same time, but this is when I feel really inadequate because I can’t keep up. But in 2013, i am going to read. Not try. I’m going to do it. Best friend even gave me a book mark for Christmas. From one of my favorite movies. It’s Yoda from Star Wars with the quote “No! Try Not!. DO or DO NOT, There is no try.”

      • Bob

        Hi Ken,

        I read slowly as well, which is due to dyslexia and comprehension skills. I sometimes miss out parts or put them in the wrong order.

        One of the steps I found very helpful, is to write out summaries of articles, this increases comprehension, memory and helps to link information by structuring and ordering it. Another idea would be read a book or article with a friend and discuss ideas and themes. Practice as often as you can, even if it is just a page – this will help develop endurance.

    • Helen

      Hi Ken. It sounds like you have been through a lot this year. I struggle with always making excuses or “reasons” for not doing something, so I think it’s great that you’re not giving yourself any excuses. Having said that, why you didn’t go for a while is more than valid – and the fact that you’re so determined to start again is inspiring. Good luck with everything :)


    • Bette

      Ken, I think you are amazing with your accountability!!! I mean,REALLY, what a conscientious, responsible, dedicated soul you are! :bow:

      Congrats on walking through all the doors that challenged you, and for staying aware and awake to reality and what you needed to do to take care of yourself. :clap:

      As for reading, bon appetit for reading all the wonderfully delicious books you will be reading this year…books that will enhance your enjoyment and make you think as well. :D

      All the best for a fulfilling and healthy year where all you goals reached will make the difference you desire. :D


  • Elton

    I wish I can be more in control of my situation especially when I am facing extreme difficult or stressful situation, I tend to influenced by environment instead of figuring out best ways to handle things on my end. Its truly not nice on the recipient to receive my end result of frustration and anger when in that situation.

    I also working on getting myself understood as well, as I realize my nature of character of keep quiet to myself even when have problem (due to long thought thinker and some part of work requires me to keep things secret) may not help people to understand the real person I am, hence this attitude had creates many misunderstanding when trouble comes into picture.

    Hence, it is time to look for year 2013 to change the 2 things above which I am striving to do it better.

  • Kyoko

    There were a LOT of mistakes and things I could have done better:

    * To my ex, be a better girlfriend. Be more understanding and supportive when he had his actuary exams, be more responsible for my on behaviours and how it affected others (especially since we shared an apartment with his friends), even though there was anage gap between myself and his close friends (ranged from 5-10 years) and because of this I often felt that I was “disapproved of” or considered not “worthy of talking to” and thereby rejected by some of them,
    I should have restructured my thinking and be more communicative – open up and talk to them first rather than feeling isolated and victimised. YOU GET WHAT YOU PUT OUT, afterall.

    * To my parents, be a better daughter. We’ve had a strained relationship since I was very young, but am now attempting to repair it. It’s hard, a lot has happened that lead to my actions (reactions) towards them now but nonetheless parents are parents. I could have spent more time, be more careful and affectionate with my words and actions and really express my gratitude towards them. Especially in Taiwan and Hong Kong with my dad and recently when h
    he visited us and also towards my mom every week when I came home.

    * To my friends, be a better friend by being more in touch with them. With a busy schedule and running around everywhere constantly and having so so much on my mind it’s been really hard to stay in touch with some of my closest friends – I went for months without talking to my best friend and we used to talk CONSTANTLY in high school.
    I’ve now reconnected with her though and we had an awesome day at the ballet :)

    * To my old employers, be more active. That is, even though a lot of what I was doing was being outsourced, I should have spoken to them about perhaps rethinking what it is I should be doing at the company. I could have then taken on more (or different/varied) tasks and they would also received feedback. Towards the end, instead, I become very bored and unmotivated to work because most days I would sit around with no tasks assigned for HOURS. So, to voice one’s opinions and thoughts is important I realised; you don’t know what opportunities there are until you reach out!

    * To myself, be more kind. I’ve harboured a deep dislike of myself since junior high school and I admit that
    I should treat myself much more kindly and gently. It seems I enjoy self-destruction and this year hasn’t been an exception. My behaviour not only hurt myself, but also impacted on those around me and looking back, these behaviours, are one of the root causes of the breakdown in my old relationship and it tears at my self respect and self esteem.

    • Helen

      It sounds like you’ve reflected a lot, Kyoko, and you’ve honestly recognised and admitted how you could have done better. I reckon that’s the hardest part and that everything’s going to be even better in 2013 :)


    • jT

      Nice self-reflection for this year. I can relate on the self destruction part (when hurting myself, it also damages the people around me especially those who are close to me) :)

    • http://www.mindset-coaching.com Dolly Yeo

      Thanks for sharing Kyoko, one can learn much from your reflections and that you on an empowering journey. Congratulations! :clap:

    • Bette

      Kyoko, It took me a very long time to learn to love myself, respect myself and be in the world with self-esteem. Self-sabotage can get really nasty, can’t it!

      Sounds like to me from your reflections that you have learned so many things from last year. :clap:

      Awareness is the first step right, and then willingness and desire to do things differently, then action. Isn’t PE a great place to be for all that! :heart:

      At the end of this year 2013, I know you can have a long list of what you are happy about, and the progress you have achieved. :D

      Here’s a toast to your being kind to yourself and allowing that kindness to spread more than ever before!

  • derrick r

    I think if anything I could have been more focused in things in my life. Work is one place especially. I kind of spaced out this year with everything going on, and instead of climbing the ladder just decided to stay put and enjoy the roses for a bit. I want to push myself more next year to do better at my job and not get so distracted. I also think that I made some dumb financial decisions this year. One in particular bothers me where I gave away money right before needing it for car repairs. Another where I made a major purchase to replace something lost. Both were worthy things and all but could have waited if I had known then what I know now. I need to save more and stop bleeding out cash each week. There are too many leaks in my budget between food and expenses. I can do a much better job at this.

  • Joelle

    Here I go with being too hard on myself again…. I could have done everything better but for the most part I was doing the best that I knew how to do at the time.

    I could have been better about calling my grandmother as she is getting very old and her health is not that great.

    Also, I could have been more positive for my partner when I was going through my overworked period. I feel badly that I brought my moods home a lot during that time.

    Also, I could have started my blog but that is going to happen this year!

  • Bob

    Here are three major ones for me:

    1. Planning and reviewing – I tend not to anticipate because I don’t want to think of the consequences and carry on regardless. I understand the theory, and I know in practice it works but I return almost systematically to default mode of not planning or reviewing.

    2. Not using my time more productively, to concentrate and get the results I want. I think it is because I don’t value my time as much as I should or having all of my goals crystal clear. This boils down to self belief and courage to pursue my ideas.

    3. Setting clear targets for each day, week, month, quarter and year.

    • Helen

      It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t like to think about consequences.
      Good luck for 2013 Bob, although it sounds like you know where you’re going so you won’t need much of it :)

      • Bob

        Thank you Helen,

        Recently I realised that ‘Consequence’ is made up of two parts ‘con’ – with + ‘sequence’ – following. i.e. the results of actions stem from the sequence of movements before, by changing the movements I can change the results.

    • http://www.mindset-coaching.com Dolly Yeo

      I like what you share Bob, because that is something I could do better too thanks! :D

    • aileen

      I can clearly relate with you Bob!

  • JadePenguin

    It’s hard to say, cause changing things does not always bring a better outcome :)

    I should have done something more useful with my time in summer though. I could have read books, watched documentaries, etc. Should have also paid more attention to the people around me (instead of being completely in my own world).

    I don’t think I could have done anything differently in love. It is their own choice to walk a different path. I can’t tell them what is right. Heck, I don’t even know what is right or if there is a right…

    No regrets :)

    • Helen

      You have such a nice positive attitude :)

  • Helen

    What could I have done better this year? Oh my, so many to choose from.

    Firstly I could have been a better
    friend/daughter/granddaughter/sister etc. Formostly, in terms of the
    people back home (I’ve been living in Ecuador for a year and a half
    and haven’t seen people for a year). I could have made more of an
    effort to skype, send presents and stay more in contact – especially
    with my granny. I also started to write certain people off that I’d
    known for years, due to my ex’s impossibly high standards that I knew
    they wouldn’t live up to (luckily I nipped this in the bud). Also because of my ex I asked my best friend not to come and visit me as there was so much fighting and I was worried about keeping
    them both happy. I don’t regret this decision as I did it before my
    “eye-opening” i.e. leaving the sleepwalking behind – and I don’t know
    if that would’ve happened without my ex pushing me. But, obviously it
    left my friendship with her damaged and I didn’t really do anything to
    make it better as I felt she “wasn’t being understanding enough” (for obvious reasons). I’m
    seeing her tomorrow though for the first time in a year now, so
    hopefully we can begin to rebuild everything again.

    Likewise in Ecuador, I was really flakey and unreliable because of my
    controlling relationship. I often cancelled last minute or lied to
    avoid plans or would only make plans at times I knew my ex was busy.
    I can’t believe I did that now. The really good friends I made out there didn’t give up on me – and I’m still friends with them now. Others, however, did – and I don’t blame them because I was a really sucky friend. In general I didn’t do well with the whole friendship and socialising thing.

    There were times when I could have been a better teacher when I was tired and feeling uninspired, but that’s improved a lot with my new job.

    In terms of my relationship, I tried my very hardest to make it work. At the start of the biggg problems, I lacked the maturity, concious and foresightedness to make good decisions and so made it worse. In terms of that I should have thought and listened more at the start. There’s nothing I can do now and there’s no point in beating myself up (plus it wouldn’t have worked anyway), but could have done better there.

    I also could have done a ton better on the financial front! In my current job I earn $200-400 less than in my previous job – but all the money I’ve saved up is from my current one! It really annoys me because I had this attitude of “I’ll never save any money here” so I didn’t! I should have tried harder and been less negative about this.

    Wowww I sucked so much this year! But never again :)

    • Bob

      Hi Helen,

      It seems like you have had an eventful year. Looking on the positive side, you have realised what you want to change – pick one and work on that. For example saving money, just by changing one habit like preparing meals in a different way you can start to save money.

  • jT

    I wish I could have done better on improving myself, such as:

    - being confident

    - disciplined (focused/concentrated on the things I wanted to accomplish)

    - pushed myself more on trying things (especially those out of my comfort zone) even if I failed, get rejected, criticized, or judged

  • http://www.valeriepriester.com Valerie

    Study more on marketing and defining my niche market.

  • Sejal

    This is a hard one.
    The whole year I never ever really gave up trying to get my life back on track.
    Its hard to say what could have changed things for the better. What I believe is that I had to go through all of that to find out what to do and then i did it.
    I guess staying in touch with inspiring friends and the PE community would have definitely helped. So I’ll be doing more of that from here on.

  • http://lifemosaique.wordpress.com/ Lina

    When 2012 began I, as many others usually are this time of the year, was determined to lead a way better lifestyle and I did for a short while. Slowly and surely, I turned back to my old habits and eating preferences, which in turn reduced to zero all my previous progress.

    What I could have done better: eat healthier, put more effort into finding a part time job, do more housework to help mom, learn to cook (more than what I already know), learn more about various subjects to enrich my general knowledge, spend more time with my friends (ever since I got into college, we’ve spent way less time together than we used to due to the fact that we’re in different colleges), work more on my blog (it has been practically inactive for several months), work on my drawing skills.

    • Bob

      Hi Lina,

      I can relate to ‘Slowly and surely, I turned back to my old habits’ – I do this as well too frequently. I find that when the new habit or reason to change is stronger then I start to change. The difference is that this time you:
      1. Know you want to change
      2. You have already tried

      Now try again.

      Think carefully about just one item first and work on that. You have recognised what you want, for example start simply by making contact with a friend instead of telling yourself off.

  • Lottie

    Most of what I could have done better involves being more friendly and kind to myself and others, and judging myself and others less. I am such a harsh self critic and I want to be more self accepting and loving. I haven’t done well at all this year and I do feel quite low about it.

    • Bryan

      we are our worst critics but i learned sometimes its a lot better to speak from the heart, and not the ego. ego’s just a pretender to the throne and only good for gathering info. listen to you and you might find a more loving self. at least that is my hope you find

  • Suzie

    What could I have done better this year?

    A. I could have shown more proof of love and care to my family.

    I grew up in a family that does not show a lot of affection yet everyone knows that we care for each other. But having read Gretchen Rubin’s books Happiness Project and Happiness at Home, I understand the importance of showing proof of love.

    For example, we wish each other happy birthday during our birthdays but we do not necessarily celebrate it when the clock strikes midnight — which my husband’s side of the family does.

    Others may not share my opinion when I say that I think this is a little pretentios. I do however think that it is very sweet and can make the bryhday biy or girl feel special. But I hate staying up until midnight just to wish someone Happy Birthday because I sleep early, and I don’t expect anyone else to do it for me. Still I respect that every family has its own traditions.
    So I could have worked better on finding my own happy balance when it comes to showing proof of love, especially to those who expect proofs of love.

    B. I could have made more effort to keep in touch with friends who do not share my new hobby.

    I do realise that I had spent more time interacting with my new like-minded friends more than I did with my old friends in 2012. They may have felt alienated by my topic of conversation the same way I felt out of place when they invited me to their children’s birthday parties (because I don’t have children).

    So I think 2013 is a good time to start, again, finding a happy balance between allotting time for these two sets of friends.

    Instead of waiting to be invited, I should be the one inviting them to do things that we can all relate to.

    • Bryan

      I think its really understandable why anyone would want to be treated to warm wishes and feelings, but i also know that there is a satifsfaction to taking that first step. and who knows maybe this means you took your first step ;)

  • http://WWW.Facebook.com/thinh7tn Nana

    - Study harder and bludge less!!!
    - Spend less
    - Didn’t quit my casual job

  • Bryan

    to be honest I would’ve accepted my relationship with Angel, the person i fell for in the shelter wouldn’t have worked out. instead i kept trying so hard and yet it amount to nothing, just hurt feelings, painful memories and hardship. I would’ve learned to accept that things happen and its better to cut my losses and move on, no matter how much my ego protests. I also learned that I should learn to act from my self, not my ego

  • http://www.ffufi.net/mindflight Ffion

    Less procrastination ob stuff that is important to me. Get clear on steps that need to be taken and do the work. Especially when related to my dreams.
    prioritize- don’t spam the to-do list.

    Buy less stuff. Especially books.

    Spend less time on the internet and reading and spend more time working on what’s important, most of all my creative work.Generally remove some distractions from my life. Focus on the essential.

    I could have tried harder to earn money and work off my debts.

    Sleep more.

    Take better care of my body.

  • Chestnut

    I think many of my problems this year has been connected with me escaping my true thoughts and intentions. I wanted a good life and a fresh start so badly that I didn’t acknowledge the very fact that could’ve made it that way – acceptance, and hard work. I had an argument with some good friends in February, but refused to take blame for the conflict. I felt lonely leaving my new life and coming home, but I partook in mindless activities instead of finding a real solution. I wanted so many things, but most of all, I wanted to have them without having to do anything. I realize many of my actions during this year have been wrong, but I’ve forgiven myself and are ready to move on. The very fact that I know others has forgiven me but not myself inspired me to change. If there’s something bothering me I accept it, even if it creates tears and guilt. That’s the only way to a better life. I do my best, and will not held back by past events. I want to move forward, and have this past months allowed myself to do so.

  • RoLo (Roses)

    I could have been more organised, at work and in my personal life.

    I could have made more time for my son and moved him away from cartoons and
    computer games to outdoor play and creativity more.

    I could have been more consistent and disciplined as a parent.

    I could have done a lot more to pursue personal projects I want to do such as writing a
    blog, novel, script, creating artwork and starting my own business/social enterprise.

    I could have read more about subjects I like such as feminism.

    I could have explored my interests more by attending events and meeting new people.

    I could have been more disciplined in my exercise regime, meditation, diet, morning
    routine and making use of my time.

    I could have completed the Artist’s Way course.

    I could have stayed in touch with friends and family more and made more of an effort with
    those I am in touch with.

    I could have done more work on my home.

    I could have gone to my grandad’s funeral even if only to support my mum.

    I could have made more of an effort with my appearance.

    I could have been more motivated at work and been more outspoken and myself more.

    I could have focused more on what I want that what I don’t want.

    I could have been more decisive about whether or not to get back with my ex, whether or
    not to change my son’s school, who to keep in my life and who to let go and what my priorities are.

    I could have been much better at planning my time, defining my goals and working towards them.

    I could have used my time a lot better in general.

    I could have been more considerate towards my mum.