It’s almost that time! Time to bid farewell to 2009 and ring in the fresh New Year of 2010. Many of you may be happy to see 2009 behind you, but before you begin celebrating, it’s important to find time for self-reflection.
New Years is the perfect time to integrate all that has happened in your life over the past year and to consider how you want to live the next year. I prefer this approach because I still have mixed feelings about resolutions. I love the idea of starting fresh, creating the new and being open to endless possibilities – yet I think that often times resolutions creates disappointment and opportunities for self sabotage. That’s why I prefer to use this time to reflect back on the past year and what it has brought to me, both good and bad. Self-reflection isn’t always easy to do, but the results of being honest with yourself can make this new year a great chance for you to achieve real growth and potential.
Here are some questions to help you reflect on the past year and create a positive foundation for a new beginning.
1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?
4. What was an unexpected obstacle?
5. What three words best describe you in 2009?
6. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?
7. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?
8. In what way(s) did you grow physically?
9. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?
10. What was the biggest thing you learned this past year?
11. What do you love most about life?
12. What are you most excited about for the new year?
Since I know many people who take their resolution creating seriously here are some tips to helping you create resolutions that you can successfully keep.
1. Attitude: Start the process of change with a positive and healthy attitude. You are your resolutions. Make “I will” commitments and then believe that you will
2. Be specific: When thinking about your goal, be as exact as possible. People who set specific goals are more likely to succeed. For example, “I will attend Pilates 3x per week” instead of “I will exercise.” Or “I will save 20 dollars each paycheck,” rather than “I will save money.”
3. Put it in writing. Write down exactly what you want to achieve and post it in a place where you will see it every day. I like to put my goal on my screensaver, or post-it on my fridge. This will help remind you what you’re working toward. When you write, use positive terms. For example, instead of writing, “I will stop eating junk food” re-word your goal in more positive terms, “I will give myself the gift of making healthy food choices.”
4. Set realistic goals. When you think about setting goals, make sure that they are within your reach. Be mindful of your finances, schedule, and other personal affairs. Many people forget to think about these important facts and, as a result, they set unrealistic goals for themselves.
5. Believe in yourself. Stay positive about your progress. Share your goal(s) with a friend or family member and ask them to help you keep your spirits up.
6. Be flexible. Keep in mind that setbacks can happen. Don’t become discouraged, stay positive and don’t give up!
7. Reward yourself. Acknowledge your achievements, even the small ones. Reaching a goal takes hard work and you should be proud of your efforts.
Whether you decide to use this time to look back and reflect or set goals for a new year just be sure to take a few moments and be grateful and thankful for all you have in your life. Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy, prosperous new year! .