By Angela Ciroalo
Now that 2018 has begun, why not take a moment and reflect on all that you have learned, achieved, and overcome in 2017?
Each year when the clock strikes twelve and the New Year begins we are quick to shift our focus on the things we are not satisfied with in our lives, the things we don’t like, the things we want to change.
Meanwhile, all of the positive, happy and satisfying achievements, events, and accomplishments that occurred over the course of the year are unfortunately overlooked.
This New Year, why not take a few moments and examine all that has occurred over the past year; the good, the bad, and everything in between. Assess what went well, what areas may need improvement, and what areas may need to be eliminated.
How can you really know where you are going if you do not know where you have been? This New Year, take a few moments to consciously reflect on where you have been; what has gone well, what has not, what have you learned, what you have gained, etc.
To assist you in preparing for the New Year, author and leadership/life coach Eileen Chadnick creates yearly reflection questions for her clients to ask as they review the year that has passed and prepare for the year to come.
Chadnick believes that due to the “busy” lives that people often find themselves immersed in, it can be difficult to find time to “pause, reflect and get our bearings.” Therefore, each year asks her clients these six questions.
1. What went well?
“Noticing the good – especially in tough times – is a crucial skill for resilience, success and well-being. Since our brains are not wired to hold on to the good (evolution has taught us to be wary),” Chadnick stated in an article published in “The Globe and Mail.” “We need to make the effort to bring the good back into our focus for a more balanced perspective.”
2. Where in your life did you experience change and disruption, and how did you deal with this?
Chadnick explain that change is a constant factor in our lives, it can be beneficial to understand how we deal with change, if we can handle change more effectively in the future, and evaluate what ways did we handled things well.
3. What did 2017 teach you?
The tough times in our lives can often times pave the way for “the greatest potential for learning and growth,” Chadnick explains. “Take stock of what 2017 taught you, and especially of how any of your challenges this past year stretched you for the better.”
4. What needs to go?
As with all things in life there are seasons of coming and seasons of going. Some areas in our lives may no longer serve us. Chadnick advises her clients to evaluate the difficult situations, bad habits, out-dated approached, clutter in the house, and any other areas of your life, that may need to be let go and left in 2017.
5. What made this year unique in some way?
Each year is different. With a little extra time and consideration we can recognize the events, situations and experiences that stood out and how these may have impacted us, according to Chadnick.
6. Give your year a theme.
Chadnick recommends giving your year a theme or mantra. Now that the year has come to a close sum it all up into a theme; transformative, altering, rewarding, restorative, motivating, whatever may suit your year.
The above list is just the tip to the iceberg. Reflections are an important and ongoing part of our lives. Experiences should not just pass us by. They are a part of our lives whether we like it or not. It is our decision to choose how we respond to our experiences. One can either learn from experiences, or try to ignore them and act as if they never happened.