The end of December is when all the lists detailing the year that was are out in full force.
The best movies, the best albums, memorable news stories, who got married, who got divorced, and who passed away, are just a few of the lists you might stumble upon if you are surfing news sites.
Before long, the new year is here and everyone sets their New Year’s resolution and tries to stick with it.
But what people rarely do is look back on the year that was and reflect on how the last 365 days has shaped them. With the holidays providing us a heightened emotional state, there is no better time than right now to do this.
If you are a Facebook user, they have a really great tool where you can browse through your post history making it easy to compile and relive the past 12 months so everything is fresh in your memory.
Ultimately, we need to be growing as individuals. We need to ask ourselves a few questions that will help us to understand how we got to where we are today, and, as a result of knowing this, we can adjust our thinking and plan for the year ahead with more accuracy.
The main question that you need to focus on is this – what did I learn about myself this year?
It’s a loaded question isn’t it? It’s something that you must sit down and really think about. Remind yourself of all the good things (and the bad things) that happened to you this year and try to figure out the lessons they taught you.
Maybe you took a trip somewhere and discovered that you love to travel and learn about different cultures. Or perhaps you were turned on to a style of music that you never thought you would enjoy.
Maybe you acquired that college degree and proved to yourself that when you set your mind on a goal, with the proper amount of tenacity and perseverance, you can reach that goal.
Maybe you went through a break-up and realized that you deserve better, and that there is someone out there that is more suited to you.
Maybe you got married and feel elated that you are embarking on a unique and fulfilling journey with someone you want to spend the rest of your life with.
Maybe you experienced financial setbacks that would break most people, but you realized that you are stronger than you think, and that your financial dilemma is only a temporary inconvenience in the grand scheme of things.
Maybe you dropped some weight, or took up a new sport or hobby, or started a new business.
Here are a few questions to help you:
What were my greatest wins this past year?
What were my greatest losses?
What can I improve upon in the coming year?
What did I ultimately learn about myself?
Sit in quiet reflection and answer these questions. Yes, quiet! Turn off the TV, the computer, the phone, the iPad, and try to understand how you got to your current reality today. Once you have done that you can begin to imagine what the next 365 days has in store for you. Stay strong, stay positive, and good things will come to you.
To your success in 2013!