As this year winds down, it’s time to reflect. Think back to where you were earlier this year. If you journal, go back and see what you were writing about. See what feelings come up and what was going on in your life. Look through pictures from this year and recall the memories. It’s important to reflect on what you want and don’t want to carry forward into the new year. Grab a pen and a piece of paper. You’re going to want to use these in order to write down your thoughts and responses as you reflect on this year.
Remember experiences from this year. Come up with one word that describes how you’ve felt. This could be a feeling of success, loss, doubt, hope, etc. Next, figure out what caused you to choose that word. It could be due to certain events that took place. Reflect over what has happened in your life over this year and how you’re currently feeling about it. Journal your thoughts about why you’re feeling this way.
Now, think about what achievements you’ve had this year. You may want to reflect on goals that you’ve previously set and see how close you’ve come to achieving them. Think about the major milestones this year and what you feel most proud of. Feel good about what you’ve achieved. Even if it’s just a few small steps towards achieving a bigger goal or little wins you’ve had happen this year. Celebrate what you’ve accomplished, no matter how big or small. You’ve made it through another year and that’s something to be proud of. Look for the positives from this year and focus on those. Take time to write down all your success on paper.
Next, take an inventory of what worked over the past year and what didn’t. If you’ve achieved your goals then write down the key things that made that possible. Perhaps it was having good habits like using a planner to keep yourself accountable and on task. Figure out what worked for you. Possibly it was a solid morning routine or positive inspiration that kept you motivated when you felt like giving up. Write down what worked for you. If things didn’t work out quite the way you wanted, write down what you can do to change that in the new year. Find things that you can control. Maybe that means eliminating distractions like social media and tv. Or reducing time with negative people that bring you down. Take the time to assess what felt off and didn’t work this year.
Here’s a simple exercise to help with your reflection over this year. On your paper, draw a line down the middle. On the left side write down more of and on the right side less of. Then, make your list of things you want to do more of and less of. Figure out what’s working and what isn’t. Think of how you want to feel too. Do more of the things that you enjoy and make you feel good. Do less of the things that make you feel unhappy and uninspired. This will help you decide what good habits you want to carry forward into the new year and what you want to do less of.
Preparing yourself for the new year is essential to getting you started on the right track. But, first you must reflect on this year in order to know what worked and what didn’t. Figure out how you’ve felt over the past year. Journal about those feelings. Next, write down all of your successes over this year. No matter how big or small. Lastly, take an assessment of what worked and what didn’t over this year. Use the writing exercise to really get clear on what you want more of in the new year and what you want less of. Allow this to move you forward into the new year. Take the time to reflect over this year so that you set yourself up for success in the new year.