Reflect, Reset and Rebuild!
The New Year is here and it brings a time of reflection and goal-setting. Last year was historic in terms of challenges but it was also a year of resilience. Whilst we may not know what challenges are ahead, we’ve all proven our resilience by actively progressing forward in life — physically, personally, professionally, emotionally and socially.
As we think about what we want to achieve this year, it’s important we consider our learnings and let them shape our opportunities. Follow these three important steps to help set yourself up for a successful year – Reflect, Reset and Rebuild.
Whilst the last year was unpredictable for everyone, recognizing the different scenarios people experienced, and are still experiencing, can do wonders for your own reflection. Everyone was affected differently. Maybe you personally experienced job and financial struggles, health implications, bereavement or the onslaught of bad news worldwide took a toll on your mental health. Perhaps someone you care about went through these challenges. While it’s important not to dwell, recognizing that although you may have experienced a different struggle to those around you, you are certainly not alone.
Reflection doesn’t only need to be done at the end or beginning of a year but it’s often a time that we see it as a fresh start. It’s a good time to take an inventory of your personal response to life, what life presented to you and how you reacted to it — the continual cycle. As you look back on your memories, photos, or even your journal, asking yourself some important questions about those experiences helps you honor the hard times and notice the ways in which you rose to the occasion and were resilient – and times that may have hindered you from progressing.
What have you accomplished this year? These don’t have to be big milestones – finding some time for self-care, relationships or a hobby is just as big of an achievement. Or even getting recognized at work, achieving a health goal like losing weight or ticking something off on the house list – these are all wonderful accomplishments. Giving yourself some praise is an important part of your reflection.1
Take it a step further and challenge yourself to go deeper in that reflection. Notice what were the feelings, actions and thoughts involved in those accomplishments. Reflect on how it was actually also hard! The point is that reflecting on accomplishments isn’t simply about finding the glee in the happy ending. It also should provoke thoughts of difficulty, strife, perseverance and resilience. Honor and celebrate all of those steps in your success.
All of these points of reflection will help you identify how you’ve changed over the past year and what you learnt about yourself.
‘New Year, new me’ is a popular phrase around this time of year – and it’s because it’s the perfect time to reset and transition from one year to the next. Resetting is ultimately recognizing your needs and responding to them. It is the essence of self-care. What do you need to continue to propel you forward? Do not yet focus on what’s ahead, but instead think of what your body and soul need to feel energized and whole in the present, as well as the future.
This doesn’t simply mean massages and spa days. It sometimes actually takes work — doing things we may not even want to do. Attend to your medical and health needs, declutter your home, review and organize (and throw away) paperwork, get caught up on small domestic duties such as reorganizing your kitchen or cleaning out your garage. By minimizing your frivolous or unnecessary needs and wants, you can focus on what is more essential and life-giving.
Once you’ve attended to those tasks, you can do the more enjoyable self-care activities like sleeping in, getting a massage, taking an aromatherapy-infused bath, spending the evening listening to your favorite music or watching your favorite show.
Now it’s time to rebuild. This becomes a clearer path after deep reflection and necessary and enjoyable self-care (resetting). Rebuilding means prioritizing what you absolutely must do and carefully selecting what you want to do in the remaining time. Is there something from last year (or previous years) that you wanted to accomplish, try or explore that you weren’t able to get to? Is that still something you want to do?
Focus on what brings you joy and energy and figure out ways to incorporate that into your life more. If you want more free time, start taking an inventory of what isn’t pertinent to your financial or personal wellbeing. Perhaps you want a greater sense of peace and harmony— rebuild your free time on activities that bring you that, such as weekly nature walks, daily yoga, time with a special friend every month or even simple quiet time by yourself.
Reflect, reset and rebuild this New Year so that you can be best equipped to resiliently respond to whatever 2021 brings.2
Now is the time. We all realize good ideas are not always easy to implement in our lives. We should do our best to stay focused on the good things around us, including the millions of wonderful people in our communities. Things are always cyclical and we are entering a new time, a new dispensation. Some wise people call it the Age of Aquarius. We are here to enjoy life, so let’s do it!