“The journey into self-love and self-acceptance must begin with self-examination… until you take the journey of self-reflection, it is almost impossible to grow or learn in life.” – Iyanla Vanzant
Well then, here we are! The end of 2019 and about to leap into a brand new decade; it is the 20’s once more. The turn of the New Year brings with it a sense of closure for many of us, the sense that a chapter of our lives is ending. So, what do you think about the chapter that you have just read; the year that has just passed?
Did you learn this year? Was it the year you expected it to be? How are you doing? Are you meeting your expectations? Self reflection is an absolutely essential exercise, and there is no better time of year to do it. In those days between Christmas and New Year, where nobody knows what to do, you are sure so find a convenient time for a moment of self reflection if you are committed to looking for one.
Find a moment. Find a quiet corner that is warm and safe to conduct this little ritual of self care. In the flurry of the rest of your life, these moments are hard to find, so cherish the opportunity to take a look at your self in the hope that you will nurture self love, self acceptance and self growth.
1. What Are Your Highlights?
Think over the last 12 months. What were the best bits? These could include anything. They could be new relationships forged, ties that you showed strength or resilience, fun events, great meals, new hobbies, hard won achievements or even simple things like a walk you really enjoyed or a film that excited you. Find 5. What are your top 5 moments from the year just passed?
2. What Was Unexpected?
Think back to who you were a year ago. Is there anything that has happened to that person between then and now that was unexpected. Have you surprised yourself this year? These events and occurrences can, and should, include both the positive and the negative. When reflecting on the self we must consider the whole tapestry of who we are and what we have lived through in order to accept and move forward.
3. Who Are the New People In Your Life?
It is always interesting to reflect on the people in your life. In my case, I have a job that sees me meeting new people all the time. Some of these people stick around in an unexpected way, some fly through your life in a flash. Sometimes people that were close a year ago might not be so close now. Why was that, and how did you affect this occurrence? Similarly, who are those people who have moved from obscurity in your life to prominence? Again, why? And what is it that they value and bring out in you that makes their company so enjoyable?
People, and our connections with them, are of utmost importance in our lives. Resilience should primarily come from the self, but it cannot remain buoyant without the support of the ones that we love and the ones that know the ins and out of our lives the best.
4. When Were You Proud of Yourself?
When did you do well this year? Many of us have a habit of doubting the self, or of understating our achievements. I find that people are much more able to list their faults than their virtues. These prideful moments needn’t be enormous, we must value every little moment of growth or victory. Did you learn to do something you never thought you could? Did you overcome any fears? Perhaps you managed to consciously overcome a habit of yours? Look closely and you will find that your highlights are numerous and should be remembered.
5. What Could You Work On?
But, as numerous at your ‘wins’ might have been this year, we must take into account those moments that weren’t so fantastic. Did you do anything this year that you didn’t love so much? How will you improve in these ways over the next year?
6. Three Goals
Set yourself three goals for the coming 12 months. They can be anything from tangible achievements to behaviour changes, human connections to monetary targets. Whatever they are, write them down, put them in a safe place, and open them up this time next year to see how you did!
By Chris Thomson
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