As we approach the end of the year, we naturally start thinking about what has happened – the ups, downs and everything in-between. If you’re feeling like it’s been a particularly low year for you, it’s even more important that that you follow this guide so you don’t end the year on a slump and you’re ready to make 2018 your best year yet.
Reflection is not about beating yourself up. Instead, it’s an opportunity to identify all the ways you have grown and what it is that you have achieved (even if it doesn’t seem like it). This guide is intended to help you first identify the facts about your year – what you did, with who and where. Then, you can dig deep and think about your feelings and the effects of those experiences.
Getting the information out of your head and into a logical framework can help you to sort it out and see what really happened, rather than getting lost in the stories you’ve made up in our head.
Your step-by-step guide:
Find a quiet place you can commit to just being with yourself, a pen and paper (surrounded by anything else that will help you get to a calm and peaceful state). Choose stationary to use that you actually like writing with. You are worthy and deserving of giving yourself this attention.
Before you start writing, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and take a moment to honour the space you are in and the time you are devoting to this practice. Set yourself a positive intention – what is it that you’re wanting to get out of reflecting on your 2017?
Begin at the beginning – write down “January”. Now, think about what you were doing during this first month of the year. Who was in your life? Where did you live, work, and what other places did you visit regularly?
As you’re reflecting on the events/experiences, people, and places of January, write down how they made you feel. Think about what you loved or disliked and why (if you know the answer). What was going on for you on a physical, emotional and spiritual level? Also, think about the effects of these experiences you had. Write whatever comes up.
Repeat the process for each month of 2017.
Once you’ve finished each month, you can now start to fully reflect on your year. First, identify any trends you notice. Are there any patterns in the types of things that made you happy or unhappy, etc?
Using the patterns you’ve found, try to group them in terms of areas of your life – relationships/family, work, study/intellectual, health and wellbeing, spirituality, friendships/social, finances, travel, home, creativity and fun. You can use all of these or add your own.
If you start focusing on what you could have done better, acknowledge the thought but don’t give it any air time. Take comfort in knowing that this is coming up to protect you from negative feelings in the future. This activity isn’t to dwell on your perceived mistakes, this is about turning them around into teachings you can use to have a better 2018!
Using the areas of your life mentioned above, you’re now going to write down something you’re proud of under each one. How have you progressed and moved forward in some way in the areas of your life? If you’re feeling like you haven’t moved forward, think about what you have learned this year. It may just be that you need to give that area more attention, follow your instinct, etc. These ‘lessons’ will also help you to create your goals for 2018.
When you’ve come to the end of your practice, take a moment to look over everything you have written, all that you have achieved and experienced this year. Place your hand on your heart and feel how truly unconditionally loved you are, created from love and forever guided and supported by love. Life has not forgotten you.
Be always grateful for all that you have and all you experience, which is continuously helping you become the best version of you.
Wishing you 2018 that you can call the best year yet!
In light and love