Happy New Year…

As we start a new Year and a new decade, it is the perfect time to reflect on what you have valued from the past year and what you want to focus on for the new year and decade. I have never been a person who has set long goals and yet I find myself excited this year to think of the next 10 years as a block of time. I am engaging in a project that addresses how we get lost in distractions and consumption and what to do to shift those patterns. I know it will take time for this project to flourish in the world and having a ten year time frame feels really good. Do you have something you would really love to see come to fruition in this next decade?

We know there will be some significant challenges on many fronts, politically, environmentally, economically, to name a few, and so how do we move forward with energy, and enthusiasm? I have discovered a new kind of fuel that truly nourishes me and I call it appreciation. For some this is the same as gratitude but I prefer the concept of appreciation as it reflects the expansion that is so important. When something appreciates, it grows in value and likewise when we appreciate something non material it grows too.

Below is an activity I do at the end of the year that starts with appreciating all the highlights of the past year. When I first did this activity I only listed 20 things. But a friend suggest I do 100 and notice the difference that made. The difference was huge and I loved how enriched I felt from stretching myself to find 100 things to appreciate. A great way to recharge yourself (and sharing this is a wonderful way to know someone more deeply).

Are you feeling connected to all the richness of the past year or was it a year you are saying “good riddance” to? If the latter is true the second part of the reflection activity I do is to list the challenges of the past year. This is really helpful as I think about what I want to change in the new year. I love asking myself “What do I want to let go of this year?” Is it stuff, weight, or maybe some beliefs that have not served me. Some people like to use the language of “stories” to reflect ways of thinking- “What stories do I want to let go of?” Consciously reflecting on this and then explicitly stating what you want is very powerful. It’s easy to forget how much our unconscious tracks and “listens” to our ways of thinking. Reclaiming your power in this way is like setting a compass for the direction you want to go.

There are other things I have listed that you may enjoy reflecting on. I hope they are useful in starting this new year off well.

Reflection Questions – For the End or Beginning of a Year

Here are the Basic Questions:

  1. List 100 highlights for the past year. Start with 20 if that seems daunting and then keep going. As you go further you will likely notice your focus changing…
  2. What challenged you this year and what will you take forward?
  3. What is the “story” that you would most like to give up?
  4. What do you most want to embrace in the New Year?
  5. What are you focus(s) and intentions for the New Year?
  6. Choose a word for the year.

Here are some other ideas to consider:

  1. Write a mantra for the coming year
  2. Write a short paragraph on the story you would like to be telling at the end of the New Year. Include any or all of the important areas of your life: body, finances, relationships, career, creative expression, personal growth, home, legacy, contribution
  3. What Books were highlights for you?
  4. Who have been your heroes this past year?

Optional Questions:

  1. Did you deposit or withdraw from relationships?
  2. Did you avoid pain and if so, at what cost?
  3. What did you invest in, this past year, that is most aligned with your values and destiny?
  4. What can you connect with that will most support you this coming year?