This picture is on point. I feel truly blessed. Even with all the ups and downs, highs and lows, endings and beginnings, joy and sorrow, opportunities and challenges. Everyone experiences these things. I am sure you have had many such moments this past year. No one leads a perfect life. It is painful and imperfect times, along with the beautiful moments that make life worth living.
It is the ideal time for reflection as one year is ending and another one is beginning. What have I done this past year? Where do I want to grow in the year ahead?
Even with life’s imperfections, I can still find beauty and joy in big things and the day-to-day mundane things. Focusing on the positive and being grateful helps me become a happier human being.
John Milton, the English poet wrote: “Gratitude bestows reverence, changing forever how we experience life and the world.” How true.
The transitionary period as a year closes and another begins is a time of reflection for many. It is an opportunity to take stock of the past year – did I accomplish what I set out to do? Did I spend enough time with the people I love? Did I fall short of being the person I told myself I would be?
In our very busy lives, we often run from one thing to another and don’t take the time to stop and pause. Maybe you set goals at the beginning of the year. How many of those goals were achieved? In what areas of your life do you want to work on? If you didn’t achieve all your goals, that is okay. The new year is an opportunity for a fresh start.
Set aside some time, find a quiet space, take some pen and paper in hand, and ask yourself these questions as you reflect on this past year:
What were my goals around health and exercise? mental health? relationships and connecting with others? What about goals in my professional life? How did I do in each of these areas?
Was there a significant life event that transpired? Any important gatherings?
What did I do this past year to leave the world a little bit better?
What was the biggest risk I took?
What was the biggest lesson learned?
What did I do for others?
What accomplishments am I most proud of?
What challenges did I face?
What happened this past year that surprised me?
What was I unable to accomplish?
What excited me?
What disappointed me?
What do I love most about the person I am?
What have I not done this year that I wish I had?
What positive changes have occurred in my life in the past year that I am most grateful for?
What do I need to let go from this past year before moving on?
Sum up my year in a sentence.
Now, it is time to look ahead at the coming year.
Where do I want my focus to be for the next year?
What are my goals for the coming year - make sure they are SMART Goals:
o Specific – clear and detailed
o Measurable – progress should be measurable, so you know when it is achieved
o Achievable – you can reasonably accomplish
o Relevant – should align with your values
o Time-based – set a realistic deadline.
What is one thing I can do for five minutes a day to support my goals?
What do I want to achieve most?
In what ways do I want to grow this year?
What character trait or skill would I like to develop more?
What do I want to discover in the new year?
How will this year be special?
How can I cultivate more gratitude and appreciation in my daily life?
What is my wish for the coming year?
What do I need more of in my life? How can I make space for more of this?
What brings me the most joy and how am I going to do more of that?
What is my focus word for the year ahead (see more about focus words, here)?
Hopefully, finding the time to sit down, think, reflect, and write will help you as you move into 2023.
May the year ahead be fulfilling and full of many blessings!