At the conclusion of 2018 and as we move to embrace 2019 I like to reflect. Setting official goals on New Year’s Eve with my husband was something we cherished until we realized that often we did not act on those goals. Thus, I changed the ritual and prefer to reflect on the past year. I can do this in isolation, I can do this with my husband, or we can just share our thoughts after each of us has done the exercise. You can even do this exercise with a friend and talk about it afterwards. It is the sharing and discussion that brings it front and center and makes each of us a bit more accountable. The very fact that someone else has witnessed what you say you have learned and heard how you plan to incorporate it into your works and action for the coming year helps to make us have more of a commitment so that we do not forget and drop the ball by the end of January.
I ask myself a few questions to gain clarity and wisdom regarding how I have confronted my challenges and frustrations, my fears and worries.
1. What were my challenges?
- How did I deal with them?
- Did I make full use of my support system and ask for help when I needed it?
2. Have I been there for others when they were challenged?
- Did I reach out to question how they might be feeling rather than take offense for the suboptimal things they might have said or done?
Finally, I ask myself:
3. How can I do better?
- What is the wisdom that I gained during 2018?
- How will I incorporate this learning into my being so the I make use of it 24/7 in 2019?
Really it boils down to:
- Did I actively listen to myself and to others?
- Did I effectively communicate with others and myself in a positive way?
- Was this in words or also in my deeds?
- What wisdom did I gain from these experiences?
- How will I make use of this added wisdom in 2019?
So much of the work I do is about culture shift, what I call “Culture Life”. How are we in relation to ourselves, our families, our colleagues and friends, our organizations, and our communities? Actually, how are we standing in the world and in its various elements? I believe that the one universal truth is that all human beings want to feel connection. Through connection we feel more seen, valued, accepted, appreciated, and respected. This helps compensate our anxiety, depression and feelings of isolation, fear, and frustration. We all meet challenges in life that need to be confronted. We can fall victim or choose to value the experience and look for the learning and opportunities that evolve from the situation. It is an added dimension that we experience that can actually enrich us and add to our wisdom if we choose to reframe the situation in our mind.
I have learned over the years that in order to deal with any pain and struggles that I need to face I can turn to the healing power of community and relationships or choose to withdraw and grieve and remain isolated with my pain. It is relationships that help me to sustain my inner spirit when feeling like things are not going right for me.
Take time to do you own reflection regarding 2018 and incorporate your new learning into who you are and want to be in 2019. It will give you new strength and heighten your relationships and fulfillment in life. Who could ask for more?
If you need help in doing this exercise, reach out. Contact me with your thoughts or if I can be of any service to you.