Sunday, December 11, 2016

December Resolutions Update - Phase 1: Reflection

I stand firm in my decision to make December my resolution month – especially when the task at hand is more than just making a simple list of resolutions: eat better, drink more water, write another book, exercise more regularly…very generic resolutions that are easy to make or break depending on the mood on any given day.
Yellowstone Lake

My list of resolutions is still in the making while I work through certain phases, and the first part of my resolution phase involves reflection. 

This may seem simple, but when you really try to dig deep and get honest with yourself, it can take time and energy to get through this phase.  Looking back at what occurred over the past year is easy enough; experiences, celebrations, milestones, challenges, successes, what was gained, who or what was lost.  The list may be long, or it may be short, but overall the list can be limited to factual data.

Evaluating what has occurred in the past, when it comes to the date, time, place, and what happened…that’s the easy part.  However, when you reflect on how each event affected you, that particular task can be difficult and it can take some time.  But to find honest answers to prepare for another (and hopefully better) New Year, you should be taking the time.

To begin, think about your fears, dreams, feelings, beliefs, values, wants and needs.  These are the types of questions I’ve been asking myself:

Did your dreams come true?  Or did your fears become a reality? 

Did you surprise yourself with your bravery or did your fears overcome your courage? 

Have you stayed true to yourself, your values and your beliefs?  Or did your worries and doubts push you to become someone you don’t recognize? 

When thinking about the past year, what were you able to accomplish?  What challenged you?  How did both the accomplishments and the challenges change your life?  What did they teach you about yourself? 

What lessons will you take with you into the New Year? 

What will you be willing to let go of? 

What are you grateful for?  What do you regret?

What made you happy?  Is it something you can continue with or do again?

What made you unhappy?  Was it temporary?  Can you move on from it?  Or is it something that needs to be forgiven beforehand?

What do you want to leave in the past?  What do you want to continue with or make better in the future?

My answers to the above questions were a combination of both expected and unexpected results when it came to what I discovered about myself.  The past year was another difficult one for me, but what I can do with what I’ve learned about myself after some reflection is nothing but positive.  Fully armed with this knowledge about myself, I can move forward into the New Year with a framework to make this next year a better year. 

With Phase 1 of my resolution month complete, I’ll be moving on to the next phase: looking ahead at the possibilities.  

See you next week!

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