The holiday season is in full swing and we are hitting the home stretch of 2018. Have you had any conversations this month about how fast the year has gone by? I have. A year can go by fast, so fast that Thanksgiving can roll around and I do a double take. Where did the time go, right?
And, although a year goes by fast, that’s 12 months’ worth of experiences you’ve had. It’s a good chunk of time and you’ve most likely accomplished more than you realize or have given yourself credit for. The reason it’s important to take inventory of our successes is that without it, we can easily end up on a path of endless pursuit where we are always doing, striving, and pushing.
Times of pushing and striving can be great, but if that is all we do we can get tired more easily, forget what we are working for, or just feel like we aren’t doing enough (which can be exhausting.) Constantly striving makes us less aware of our accomplishments. We can forget to take moments to be grateful, to reflect on what is going well so we can take more of it with us, and maybe even let go of any ways of being or things that are no longer serving us. We need pauses and times of reflection to integrate our experiences and acknowledge ourselves.
If you feel like you could use a check-in on all the good that has happened in your last year, grab a notebook or your favorite journal and let’s get reflecting.
Here are some steps you can follow to give this a try:
Set aside an uninterrupted time to reflect on the year – put it on the calendar if you can.
Set a timer for 15 – 60 minutes so you have an end time, this will help you have focus knowing that when the timer goes off you are done (unless you’d like to set another timer for round 2.)
Reflect on your year in the following areas of your life: career, your family relationships, your friendships, any creative projects you were a part of, your health, your finances, your religious/spiritual practices, fun/adventure, and anything else that comes to mind. Use the following questions to reflect and jot down your thoughts:
What happened in these areas of your life that you are proud of?
What happened that you were grateful for?
What lessons have you learned?
What new relationships have you formed?
What have you become involved with that has made a difference for you?
What are you ready to let go of?
When the timer goes off and you have completed your list, go back and read it out loud to yourself. Read it slowly. You will probably experience an “aha” moment of “Wow, I did a lot!” or “Wow, I learned a lot” or maybe you take an exhale and feel your shoulders relax. You are letting it sink in. Take your time doing this part.
Smile. You are doing great. If you feel like you have more, go back to step #2 and repeat.
As you are doing this reflection write everything that you can think of without screening or censoring whether it’s worthy of being written down. Everything matters! If you have a moment where you are hard on yourself and think you should have done more, that’s okay, its normal to have those thoughts. Make a side note of what you’d like to improve upon.
Don’t judge yourself while you are writing down your thoughts or get stuck thinking about a time when you felt stuck. Keep your pen moving as much as you can – it’s okay to write something down more than once. Once you start writing, don’t stop until the timer goes off.
If there is something nagging at you consider making it your goal or focus for 2019 and set yourself up with support in that area of your life. A great place to start is either with TMAP or for eligible team members, the Whole Foods Market Medical & Wellness Centers which all provide free resources for you to get started.
All you ever need to know is the next step, and make sure to give yourself the time to honor yourself and everything you’ve done. You’re worth it.
If you need the numbers for any of the resources above, here they are:
TMAP: (877) 273-2715
Whole Foods Market Medical & Wellness Center – Glendale, CA: (818) 844 - 2300
Whole Foods Market Medical & Wellness Center – Austin, TX: (512) 542-0500