Many people leap into the new year with resolutions, goals, big plans, big ideas, big dreams, and even a big “one word.”
While any lofty plan is inspiring in and of itself, there are a few things you must do first.
Before you make future decisions it’s imperative that you remember and reflect on your old ones. Reflective questions like:
- What did I do that was effective?
- What could have I done better?
- What did I learn from it?
- What people were brought into my life because of it?
- What would I do again?
- What do I wish I had experienced that I didn’t?
If you don’t take the time to reflect, chances are you’ll repeat the same mistakes you did the past year or you’ll stay within your comfort zone and never experience new and possibly difficult “growth-minded” things.
Reflection isn’t beneficial for only future decision making. Reflection is great for future character traits as well. You can ask yourself questions like:
- Did I love enough (including myself)?
- Did I slow down and absorb things around me?
- Did I feel and express my emotions or did I brush them under the rug or cover them up?
- Did I try and control things around me or did I learn to trust the outcome and leave it up to God?
- Did I strive to be right all the time or was I okay with not having the answers?
- Did I hold grudges or did I release hurts and aggravations?
- Did I give compliments freely and generously (and did I accept them)?
- Did I walk away from people who don’t value or support me?
- Did I always have to get the last word in or did I listen?
- Did I laugh at myself or expect myself to be perfect?
- Did I embrace each day and live it like it could be my last?
Your mind can be one great big battleground. It can shoot down any high aspiration or lofty goal you come up with. You tell yourself you can; your mind will tell you you can’t. You tell yourself you should; your mind will tell you you shouldn’t. You tell yourself you are valuable; your mind will tell you you’re worthless. You tell yourself you are strong; your mind will tell you you’re powerless. You tell yourself you are perfectly imperfect; your mind tells you you’re a shameful mess. You tell yourself you’re ready; your mind will tell you you better wait.
If you allow self-criticizing, self-reproaching, and self-chastising thoughts to dwell in your mind, they will win. They’ll succeed in stealing your peace, your joy, your purpose, your productivity, and even your relationships.
We’ve got to manage our minds. In other words, we have to make our mind mind! We can do this by questioning our thoughts and calling their bluff. Asking ourselves questions like: “Who told me this?” “Where did I hear this?” “Is this a story I’ve been telling myself for years?” “Why do I believe this?” and “What proof do I have that it’s true?”
Hey Friend, to have the best year (and best years to come), please take the time to reflect on your past and remain positive about your future. You’ve got this! The new year is yours for the taking. You’re in the driver’s seat. You steer the ship. You have the power to make it what you want.
“And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been.” Rainer Maria Rilke
With much love and blessings to you in the new year.