I’m finally settling in to 2015. It only took two weeks for me to feel stable after the chaos of the holidays. I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions, but I enjoy reflecting on the past year and thinking about the upcoming. I had friends in town for New Year’s Eve from all over the country and as we sat around the dinner table we all took turns sharing our highs and lows of the year.
I often find myself analyzing events and decisions in my life, so this felt natural to be able to pick out a few highlights and lowlights of the past year. Although this was enlightening to do with friends I only see a few times a year (it was a short summary of their year) I found myself realizing that something this simple can be so useful throughout the year and need not be reserved until the year has passed.
An alternate to making resolutions, the highs and lows is an opportunity for me to set goals, evaluate what worked and what did not, and reflect on how to improve. One of the things I find most helpful in my own life and while working with clients is identifying what holds us back from achieving certain goals, behaviors, and change. For me, I often find that when I really look at why something worked or didn’t work it can be complicated; the past creeping in and fear are the two that seem to still affect me the most.
The simple idea of taking time out of our busy lives to evaluate what’s currently happening and if this is something we want to continue or change does not need to be saved for the end of the year. Imagine taking time at the beginning or end of the week or month even, say 15 minutes, to reflect on the highs and lows. I feel empowered with how my life might change if I resolved to this instead of yearly goals that I often do not follow through on.
Two of my favorite things I strive for with myself and teach clients is the power of mindfulness and intentionality. What if we became more mindful as to how we are living our everyday lives, gaining awareness and moved towards being intentional to create more positive highs and learning from our lows to move forward. I admit it sounds a bit daunting, but after doing this for a couple weeks I am motivated to see the impact it brings to my life. I’m going to guess it has the potential to be profound! So, I suppose I have made a disguised resolution to reflect more frequently and move forward with intention this year.
I encourage you to join me on this quest for growth! Setting aside 15 minutes or so in a timeframe that works for you (weekly, monthly, quarterly) to write down your highs and lows. I will add this is a great time for some personal self-care and can be fun to look back and see what you have accomplished!
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates