As 2017 ends, it’s natural to reflect on how things have gone over the past year. Perhaps you’ve had a few challenges (that’s how we grow!), but you’ve also tried some new things, met some new people, and achieved some of your goals.
It can be a powerful exercise to reflect on the past year so you can more consciously (and optimistically) walk into the new one.
So, get out a pen and paper. We’ll start by reflecting on 2017 and then plan for the year to come.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself about 2017:
#1 – What good things have happened this year?
Maybe you started a business, reconnected with an old friend, or crossed something off your Bucket List. If you have trouble remembering, one way to recall the last 12 months is to look through photos. What did you do with your loved ones? Did you travel anywhere fun?
Write down all the good things that have happened to you this year. Go month by month, and be sure to include anything big or small. As the list starts to unfold, it’ll help you realize the activities that truly made an impact.
#2 – What challenges have you faced in 2017? What have you learned in the process?
Perhaps you had a setback at work, had health challenges, didn’t fulfill a goal you set out for yourself, or had to make some decisions about an aging family member. These are the parts of life that can really take their toll — but also open us up to valuable lessons.
Write down these challenges, but take some time to reflect on what you’ve learned from each one. This is the silver lining where each of us grows as a person.
Preparing for 2018
Now, it’s time to reflect.
- Take your “good things” list and circle the things that bring the biggest smile to your face. Take the time to tentatively schedule similar activities for 2018!
- Take your “challenges” list and write down a few key lessons you’d like to bring with you into 2018.
- Don’t forget your bucket list! What have you been putting off that you’d love to do in your life? Pick at least one for 2018.
Let’s make 2018 amazing! You don’t need to do a million things — just choose the things that bring you the most joy. If you’re worried about cost, remember things like vacation rentals can be found at great rates.
Remember: putting conscious effort into the things you value most not only improves the next year, but your entire life.