As 2018 comes to a close, we start to hear all about New Year’s resolutions. What goals do you have for the upcoming year? What will you do better or differently? In the final days of December and early moments of January we hear messages everywhere that encourage us to be excited and forward-focused.
Being future oriented is totally appropriate as a new year opens its doors to us. But we cannot turn our attention fully toward what’s coming if we have not consciously acknowledged what has come before it.
That’s where the magic of reflection comes in.
Be intentional about your reflections this year. Create time and space dedicated to thinking back on all that has occurred in your life in 2018. Let yourself sit in the feeling of major events, accomplishments, personal breakthroughs, heartaches, and disappointments.
Perhaps you’ll want to journal about these things. Maybe you will sit in quiet meditation to do your reflecting. Or, maybe you’re more of a conversationalist and you will talk to a few good friends or family members about the past year. However you choose to do it, make sure the action of reflection is not a one time thing. Let it happen over the course of a few days so that you can reconnect to the experiences you have had this year in an authentic way.
Sitting in reflection is also a useful tool for confronting the stories we tell ourselves. In most moments, no matter whether we experience blissful joy, gut-wrenching sadness, or something in between, we create perceptions and thoughts; perceptions and thoughts about other people, situations, and our self-worth. It is these thoughts and perceptions that become our stories, and without reflection, we can lose ourselves in them.
Reflection gives us the opportunity to reframe our experiences with a clear head. Often, when I reflect back on a particularly difficult or painful experience, I can see why it was necessary. Or at the very least, I can better appreciate all of the change that took place in my life as a result of that experience.
Reflection is the seed from which the mighty tree of our resolutions/intentions/goals can sprout. Reflection is vitally important, and it is a key ingredient of growth. As December winds down and 2018 ends, take the time to reflect so that you can make 2019 your most authentic, wise, and abundant year yet 🙂