Although no one can go back and make a brand-new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. – Carl Bard
After the holidays and as each year comes to an end; we start thinking of the new year and decide on New Year’s resolutions. With every intention of keeping them but all too often not able to keep it for more than two weeks.
Why does this happen?
One reason is we don’t take time to really reflect on the past year. Reflection can be difficult as we tend to focus on the big moments or ones that caused us the most pain. Yet, each day of the year is filled with moments of joy, sadness, laughter, learning, love or sorrow. If you are like me and don’t keep up with journaling, it can be difficult to remember things from last week let alone the entire year. Another reason is we tend to make our New Year’s resolutions too vague or general…. “I want to get in shape, eat healthier, stop smoking, be happier, spend less money” etc. By doing this we subconsciously give ourselves permission to not follow through.
When you are more specific about what you want to achieve, you are more likely to create a plan that will allow you to be successful.
Instead of waiting until the end of the year, why not start now and make a specific resolution (I prefer goal) to make reflection a monthly practice. This can be a way for you to identify and make small changes that become the stepping stones towards making those big life changes that you’ve not been successful at.
Picking one day each month, setting aside an hour or two to reflect on the past 30-days.
In a notebook (can be a beautiful journal, dollar store notepad, a word document, electronic notes, it can be anything as long as you are able to review it later) write today’s date at the top of the page and then start writing down the highlights and low lights from the last 30-days.
Did you spend time outdoors, exploring new trails or walking on the beach?
Did you do any traveling?
Did you celebrate a special occasion?
Did you start a new relationship or did a relationship end? Did you get promoted at work or are you struggling in your current job?
Did you experience an act of kindness?
As you do this each month, you will start to notice patterns developing. This is where you can decide what you need to change for the next 30-days.
This becomes your stepping stone that you build upon and next month will add to it. Every month taking a new action that will put you on the path to finally achieving your resolution/goal.