When one year ends and a new one begins, it's customary for us to ponder our past year and even our life as a whole, often planning to change everything in the approaching year.
What can we do to make this change easier?
What can we do to make the new year better?
Essentially, how do we craft New Year's resolutions that work for us?
Let's start with the basics.
What is self-reflection, and why is it important?
Self-reflection means looking back at what we've done before to see what we're good at and where we can improve. This helps us get better at things in the future.
Lots of studies show that self-reflection is useful for everyone, no matter what job they do or what they do in their personal life. It helps us finish tasks better, figure out what we're good at, and where we need to learn more. It also helps us learn from experiences, teaches us things on our own, and gives us feedback.
How can you reflect on yourself effectively?
You can reflect on your personal life as well as your professional life. There's no right way to do it. It's more about asking yourself questions to understand better.
One important thing is to avoid asking 'Why?. 'Why' can stop you from moving forward. Instead of only thinking about why things happened, it's better to focus on what you can do next.
Take some time, maybe 10 to 15 minutes, for each reflection session. You can write short notes or keep a journal. Use a way that feels easy for you. The whole idea is to get more clarity, not to blame yourself.
Where can you start?
- Ask "What really matters to me in my daily life?" Are you spending time on things that match what's important to you, or is there a big difference?
- What are three things that are most important to you right now? Write them down.
- What are three things you spend most of your time doing each day? Write those down too.
- Look at both lists. Do they match up? Or are they very different?
- How can you spend more time on the things that matter most to you? What changes can you make?
Remember, what's important to you might change over time. And that's normal
For example, when you have a new baby, family might become most important. Or when you're starting a business, that could take priority. And when you're feeling stressed or tired, taking care of yourself might become most important.
It's funny, that we often keep doing things the same way even after our priotities have changed.
What if you would change that? How about focusing more on what's important to you right now?
How can you make your future better?
After reflecting about what you did well and what was challenging, there are some good questions you can ask yourself:
- What do I enjoy doing?
- Is there something I'm good at that I would like to keep doing?
- What would you like to change?
- Is there something that didn't work well that you should do differently?
- Maybe there's something new you learned and would like to test it?
Remember, when you make changes, having fun and enjoying what you do makes things better and easier.
Something important to remember when planning for the next year.
Things around us are always changing – our lives, work, and the world. Everything changes all the time.
That's why it's good to check your plans often. Take some time, maybe 10 to 15 minutes every day or week, to think about how things are going in your life and work. If something isn't working well for you, your family, or your job, it's okay to change your plans. Do something different. If that doesn't work, do something new again.
As Tom Bradley, the ex-Mayor of Los Angeles, once said: 'The only thing that can stop you from reaching your dreams is you.'
The only thing that can stop you from reaching your dreams is you.
Let'shave a great start for 2024 and make our dreams come true.