What will you do to honor the work, the challenges, the highs and lows of this year?
The best way to ensure a brighter year is by celebrating your achievements from last year, empower yourself!
Without some sort of reflection on last year, how will you improve? How will you accurately access and empower yourself in the year to come? You probably are not be giving yourself credit for all that you achieved last year. It’s important to recognize, in fact, to celebrate your efforts. Most of us tend to be overly critical of ourselves. We easily overlook our good works and positive benchmarks while focusing on an unattained goal or missed opportunity. I don’t need to remind you that focusing on what you don’t have, or what you didn’t do will not set a good tone for the future.
Simple rituals can be extremely effective. Recently, a group of psychologists discovered that rituals can have a causal impact on people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. What’s more, rituals apparently even benefit people who claim not to believe in the impact of rituals. There has been a lot of research in the field of sports psychology demonstrating the performance benefits of pre-performance routines, from improving attention and execution to increasing emotional stability and confidence.
So here is a suggestion, why not set aside 30-minutes, in fact, go to your calendar now, pick a day, and schedule some time when you’ll have a quiet moment to reflect.
Really, go ahead, put it on your schedule!
Once you’ve settled yourself, here are your instructions:
Light a candle, put on some soft music, grab your favorite pen. Take your time and reflect on the good in your life and the kind of moments you’d like to perpetuate for next year.
I’ll bet you did way more than you’ve given yourself credit for! You may need a little prompt, get your planner and/or your journal, start from January, put yourself in the mind set to remember how you felt and begin to take a few notes for each month. Then use what you’ve collected to answer the following questions.
- What did I learn this year about how to care for, or nurture myself?
- What kinds of experiences made me more aware of feeling happy this year?
- What fears did I uncover and how have I handled them?
- What situations, people or activities inspired me?
- What 3-4 things am I proud of?
- What did I learn this year that makes me feel stronger or braver?
- If I had a do-over card, what 2 things might I do differently?
- What 4 things am I committed to repeating next year that will empower me to show up more authentically?
While this is a fairly short list, don’t underestimate the power of this exercise. It’s so easy to get caught up in next year, the next thing, but you have worked hard this year. Take the time, celebrate yourself, you’ll be so glad that you did! I’ll bet you’ll discover things you would have otherwise forgotten, things you’d really like to repeat or continue next year. There are so many ways to empower and support yourself, it’s always a choice!