Entering the New Year - Reflect
With the year coming to a close and we face the holidays ahead, it’s easy to forget to reflect on the successes and failures in our lives over the past year. Honestly, the end of each year seems to fly by so quickly, who would have time to sit down and objectify the major events of the past year? The truth is, many self-help authors align with neuroscientists in many ways on this topic. They all strongly encourage people to write down their goals, and to look back and see if those goals were accomplished. They encourage this not as a way to feel like a failure when some of your goals don’t get accomplished, but rather as a way to objectify the results of your labor.
Your brain processes thousands of thoughts a day. That’s a lot of information! Most of the time these thought patterns stay consistent, and many times, our thoughts get stuck in a thinking loop. However, something different happens when you verbalize your thoughts, and even more profoundly when you write them down. When you write your goals down two things happen: 1. You create an external reminder of your goal, and 2. Putting a goal down on paper in detail helps your brain reprocess the thought in different ways. Writing down your goals is not only important to help remember them, but also as a way for the brain to let go of the thought pattern and begin thinking of ways to accomplish them. You allow yourself to move on and begin focusing on the important part: Action!
Written down goals help get ourselves from point A to point B. And in order to figure out where we want point B to be, we must look at where point A is. Now is the time to reflect and look at some of the successes and failures of the past year, and how you’d like to grow from them. There are many facets of our lives to review: Family, friends/community, career, financial, health/fitness, and spiritual/religious. The object of goal setting is to establish where we feel there is a lack of focus in any of these facets, and then create attainable steps towards fulfilling those areas that need attention. Not every goal will be accomplished, not every goal will be appropriate, and some goals will be unexpectedly unattainable. It takes practice to learn how to set goals for different time frames, I.E yearly goals, weekly goals, daily goals. However, just like anything in life, with practice, we can become more proficient and productive with our goal setting.
It’s that time of year again, to finally sit down and reflect: Did I accomplish any of the written resolutions/goals from last year? How far have I come in the last year? What has changed in my life this past year? Goal setting is not complete without a proper reflection of one’s self. In order to continuously grow, we must continuously look at ourselves and find where there is lack in our hearts or in our lives. That’s all goal setting truly is – an objective way to efficiently and effectively improve yourself and your life. And once you have found your point A, we can begin to draw out our next personal destination. And if you didn’t complete certain goals from last year, there isn’t any reason why you can’t try again this year. Think about where you are in life, think about where you want to be this time next year and then get those thoughts down on paper! The most rewarding part is when you look back at your list, and you find yourself crossing off the goals you set. Keep the momentum going and don’t look back! A New Year is like a new day, we get to wake up that morning and start anew. Keep shining brighter every day, and let your written goals and resolutions keep you on track!