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Before we dive deep into setting our goals and intentions for the new year, it’s good to take a closer look at the year we just lived through.
Reflecting on the past milestones and breakthroughs we had, leads us to make more informed decisions for the future.
Often, we can feel the biggest lessons in hindsight, but not when we’re in the middle of the storm.
Take a moment to give yourself credit for all the minor and bigger challenges you’ve mastered in the past year.
Even when some things aren’t resolved yet, thank yourself for your resilience in the process.
At the beginning of the year we tend to overburden ourselves with all the habits we want to start, 100 goals to accomplish and during all of that also functioning in a fast-paced and unpredictable world.
While reading through the goals we set a year ago we feel like we didn’t accomplish anything.
Life forced us to slow down, we just didn’t have the energy or lacked a lot of inspiration.
Maybe we tried some of the things we set our intentions for but figured out that it simply doesn’t fit our lives and doesn’t feel good to us.
It’s important to note with all the goals we want to accomplish, the biggest should always be to feel good!
You don’t have to force everything upon yourself, and especially not at once.
It definitely is a great intention to improve your life, your health, and your mindset.
We just need to keep in mind that we don’t have to do it all at once and within one year. It’s a life-long process.
What I recommend doing is to choose one theme/word for the year and set some goals around it.
Maybe in the next year, you want to focus on feeling at peace more often.
Then one of your goals could be meditating every morning for five minutes before you leave the house, and slowly increasing the time, or having another practice before bed.
Now let’s look at the past year!
Below you can find a lot of sections for reflection. Each of them has prompts that you can work through in your journal or in your mind.
How do you feel different compared to one year ago? If you did an end-of-year reflection last year, you can also use that as a reference.
Based on your experiences in the past year, how do you feel about the next year? Compare that to your feelings a year ago. Do you feel more hopeful about the new year? Excited? Anxious? Indifferent? Just notice what comes up, without any judgment.
Here you can write down major things you’ve experienced like moving to a new place, graduating, mastering exam season, a new family member entering your life, starting a new job, a wish fulfilled,…
Milestones resemble the closing of a huge chapter of our lives and starting a new one. Which can feel incredibly exciting and frightening at the same time.
Write down how you felt building up to this milestone. Your expectations, worries, wishes, as well as how you felt after accomplishing it. Did it feel different from what you’ve expected?
Which habits were easy for you to establish in the past?
Which habits did you have an on/off relationship with?
Which habits did you try a few times and figured you don’t feel good with them?
Are there habits you wanted to try but didn’t start? What was the reason? Are you still willing to try them, or did they lose their appeal? If you want to try them choose one habit for one month and schedule it into your routine. Start small and easy.
Reflect on your morning and evening routine. Did they change throughout the year?
Are you a person who loves to change up your routine every now and then (maybe every season) or do you thrive on a solid routine you can always count on?
Do you need to change your routine a lot due to working in shifts? If so, do you feel content with your current system? Are there small ways to improve your routines around your working schedule?
Are there habits you would like to make space for in your current routines? Or are your routines so packed that you often feel overwhelmed?
Notice how you feel about your mornings and evenings in general? Are there things that make you anxious? If yes, is it because there are too many habits or because you don’t have any centering habits included?
Look back at your greatest challenges. What have you learned about yourself going through these hardships?
Did you make space for celebrating after you’ve mastered this situation?
Did you make space for healing?
Also look at your minor daily disturbances. How can you improve your daily experience by making small changes? How can you make not so welcomed tasks more enjoyable?
Who did you grow closer with throughout the year? How did you improve your relationship?
List your favorite memories you experienced with loved ones.
Are there relationships you want to deepen? List five ideas with things you could do together to make this happen. (Sometimes the only thing needed is an honest conversation)
Are there people you grew apart from? In which areas did the differences became too strong? What consequences do you draw out of this situation for future relationships?
Overall do you feel seen and heard in your relationships? Do you make an effort to see and hear other people in your life?
Reflect on the new connections that you’ve made in the past year? In which ways did they teach you something? Have you felt an instant connection or did it take some time until you realized that you get along really well?
Were there challenging connections? What did they teach you?
Which Souls helped your growth the most in the past year? (This can also be a person you haven’t met → people online, podcasts, authors, your favorite band)
With this category you can reflect on new things you’ve discovered in the past year:
Make a list with the:
- skills you’ve improved or learned
- major insights you’ve gained through podcasts or documentaries
- artists you fell in love with
- your favorite songs this year
- your favorite books
- your favorite shows
feel free to come up with more categories
Fun & Joy
Write down your happiest moments of the year (big or small, no matter whether you spend them alone or with others)
Looking at that list how can you intentionally create more of those moments?
What did you love to do just for the fun of it in the last year? Create a list and add to it. Try to incoporate these activities into your weeks. Or schedule a playful date with yourself at least once a month
What To Take Into The New Year
With everything that you’ve learned in the past year(s), what advice do you want to give yourself moving into the next year?
Now, if you want to, you can write down your soulfelt intentions for the next year.
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