There is that specific week between Christmas and New Year Day when I don't know what day it is, the date, and I'm not keenly aware of the time. All I know is time is both passing quickly by and yet seemingly not passing at all.
This is the week where I spend many hours reflecting on the year that was. I think through each season, relive memories, recount the days and the lessons learned from mistakes. I think of the people I've crossed paths with, some just once, but it made an impact on my life.
I think of the ways I hope I made a positive imprint on someone's life. And I also think of ways I may have not been my most kind, my most generous, or the best version of myself. I am only human after all and make mistakes, often.
Excitement for the New Year, a fresh start, is a wonderful thing... but I want to encourage you to take a couple hours to yourself in the days between Christmas and New Years to pay respect to your year that was. To acknowledge where you were, where you're at, and then to look forward to where you want to be.
Honoring your past is important for moving forward and for making plans for the future. I find it difficult to map out where I want to go if I don't take stock of where I currently am.
And so dear friends, I invite you to follow along on this mindfulness exercise of self reflection and an account of the year 2019.
Part One Questions // The Past
- What was your mindset at this time last year?
- What were you most looking forward to in the New Year?
- Who were you with this time last year?
- Choose three words to describe your emotional state this time last year?
Part Two Questions // Words Matter
- What three words would best describe your 2019 year?
- Do these words align with the goal(s)/resolution(s) you set for yourself last December? If they don't, reflect on why not. If they do, reflect on why.
- Instinctively, write down the first 3 words that come to mind when you think of 2020. (You'll come back to these, don't think too much about it)
Part Three Questions // Who You Surround Yourself With
- List the 5 people you spent the most time with in 2019.
- Who do you wish you spent more time with in 2019?
- Who made you feel like the best version of yourself or encouraged you the most in 2019?
- Were there any people that you noticed you wanted to spend less time with in 2019? Reflect on why you feel this way.
- Were there any people that you wanted to spend more time with in 2019? Reflect on how you can spend more time with this person(s) in 2020.
- Do you feel the people you spent the most time with in 2019 influenced your life in a positive or negative way?
- Who challenged you the most in 2019?
Part Four Questions // Self Reflection
- Name 5 things that inspire you.
- Name 3 people that inspire you.
- With the 3 words you wrote from Part 2, Question 3... What areas in your life will you focus on in 2020? -Do you think these three words fall in line with your goals and hopes for 2020?
- What are qualities about yourself you like?
- What are qualities about yourself you want to work on a bit?
- Instinctively, what color will represent 2020 for you?
- What is the overall feeling you want 2020 to be for you? Happy? Accomplished? Contentedness? Peace?
Part Five // Goals & Intentions
After you have answered all the questions above, think about what you want to be intentional about for 2020. Are there more people you want to spend more time with? Do you crave more quality time with family, with your partner? Do you find yourself longing for more self reflection or time to devote yourself to a new hobby? Perhaps you've discovered you may need to reconsider a job or career choice? As you have reflected maybe you have realized you need to focus on financial goals or sort out some real life things...
Write out your main goals for 2020. Don't call them resolutions. It's so much easier to fall off the bandwagon if you call them resolutions. Instead write down your big goals and below that write down your intention for achieving this goal. You must identify your WHY, your CORE purpose for your goal. If your goal is "Get out of debt" or "Save up money"... ask yourself WHY you want to achieve these and how will achieving this goal positively affect your life?
After you write down your goal, then your intention, write down a simple mantra below the intention.
Goal: "Get out of debt"
Intention for goal: "Financial freedom, not be stressed about bills"
Daily Mantra: "I am good at managing money."
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Place your goals and intentions somewhere visible for you. For me, I created a collage and made it my phone backdrop. These photos reminded me subconsciously what my intentions were for the year.
A little confession... I had created a mood board last year and it has been my phone background all of 2019. By October of this year, every single intention and goal was done... subconsciously I had simply lived each day as if those things were already true for me.
I hope you loved this exercise and found it valuable and helpful! Please do share your thoughts and intentions below!