Wow! Can you believe a year has gone by already?

I know 2020 was a down right difficult year but reflecting on one’s past and doing some serious introspective work does the soul good.

It helps you be present, mindful and appreciative of the changes in your life.

It also gives you a clear, focused idea of who you are today, and who you want to be tomorrow. It even helps you take responsibility for yourself, your life choices and your actions.

Today I ask that you will join me on a journey of self-exploration that will take you down memory lane to help you understand how you got where you’re at and help you decipher the next steps in life.

So where should you begin? First, you might find writing in a journal to be of benefit. If you don’t have one this might be a wonderful opportunity to begin using one.

Second, it is important that you set aside uninterrupted time to complete this activity. Why? Because it is important that you allow yourself deliberate thought in answering each question.

Third, be aware that you might find some questions challenging. The use of calming activities such as mindfulness, deep breathing, and self-compassion might be of value as you answer those questions you might find difficult.

In addition, reaching out to members of your support system might come in handy.

So, let’s begin by answering questions about the years gone by.

The year 2020: What went well?

If you had a great year, then this question will be fun to answer. If you had a tough year, this question will be essential! Noticing the good – especially in tough times – is a crucial skill for resilience, growth and well-being.

As you might know our brains tend to focus on the ‘bad’ or ‘negative’ so we need to make an effort to bring the ‘good’ back into focus.

Where in the past year did you experience change and disruption, and how did you deal with this?

For good, better or worse, change is a constant factor in our lives. How did you deal with your changes in 2020? What did you do well and where do you see need and opportunity to deal better with change?

What did 2020 teach you?

We are built with an innate capacity to learn and to grow – whether by explicit intention or from the experiences that comes our way. Often, the greatest challenges bring the greatest potential for learning and growth.

Take stock of what 2020 taught you, and especially of how any of your challenges this past year stretched you for the better.

What needs to go?

There comes a time when we are just ready to let some things go. What do you need to purge? Maybe it’s an unhealthy relationship, a bad habit, clutter or negative self-talk?

Maybe some of this served you well for a while but not anymore. It might be time to let go of the ‘bad’ and to start fresh in the New Year.

What made this year unique in some way?

Sometimes it feels like the years pass and they are all the same; however, when you give yourself permission to pay attention, something stands out that can define a time in your life. Think about your year: What events, situations and experiences truly defined what 2020 for you?

As you ponder these questions please join me in January 2021 as we continue our discussion on preparing for the new year.

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