Thoughts As We Prepare to Say Goodbye to 2018

As we are approaching the end of the year, many of us find ourselves being reflective.  We contemplate what’s happened over the year, what we’ve accomplished, what we’ve lost and what we want the New Year to bring.  It can be a time of sadness, of joy, of loneliness, of hope, of nostalgia, and of anticipation.

While taking stock of our lives is often a good thing, it can also lead to rumination (focusing on the negative and playing it over and over in our heads).  But, the end of the year should not be a time of reliving what went wrong during the year or torturing ourselves with our failures.  Instead we can make it a time to focus on what went right.  Try asking yourself: What did I accomplish?  What am I grateful for?  What do I want to savor about this year?

When I do this, I can recall countless conversations and laughs with family and friends, the gift of being able to give to others, the smiles on my children’s faces, playing games and laughing with my girls, and the strong warm arms of my husband wrapped around me as we sleep.  Just writing that put a smile on my face.    

Now, this doesn’t mean that we have to ignore the not so bright spots of the year, but we can turn them into learning opportunities.  As Dr. Tal Ben Shahar says, “Learn to fail or fail to learn.”  We all fail, it’s a part of growing and improving, but we can fail gracefully.  We can look at those dim spots in the year (we all have them) and say to ourselves, “What did I learn from that?”  How can I use that as an opportunity for growth and even adventure in the New Year?”  What good can I find within this negative experience?  Perhaps it was the love and support of friends or the appreciation of something else in your life.  Perhaps it was a lesson learned.  I had an experience this year that was very disappointing, but as I reflect on it now, I can say that I am proud of myself for having the courage to take risks and to work towards my ideals.  I am grateful for the love and support of family and friends during that time.  I can look at my life and see that while it is not perfect, it truly is wonderful and I can acknowledge all I’ve learned from that disappointing experience.   

Now that you’ve reflected on 2018, it’s time to prepare for the New Year, ask yourself, “What do I want MORE of in this coming year?”  The idea here is to keep the focus on what you want to create in your life this year.  Focus on all that is good and worth expanding upon.  It is much easier to create when you come from a place of positivity rather than a place of lacking or scarcity.  For example, I am so grateful for the work that I do with others and helping others lead their ideal lives.  This year, I want more of that, so this year I intend to expand my reach in helping others.

Despite the hustle and bustle that the holidays can bring, the end of the year can be a wonderful time to slow down, take stock and prepare for a new beginning. 

What are you grateful for this year?  What intentions are you setting in the upcoming year?  I would love to hear from you.  Your comments will let me know how I am expanding my reach.

Be Well and Enjoy this fresh start in front of you. Happy New Year!