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Reflecting on 2015

As 2015 draws to a close it is hard to believe another year has gone by. The media recap of the year is filled with the usual world events and celebrity & political news makers, but what about you? How was your 2015? Take a moment to reflect on your 2015 to learn a bit about yourself and perhaps map a path of where you want to go in the New Year.

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. ~Soren Kierkegaard

Sit in a quiet room and in a comfortable chair, or recline on your favorite couch, get comfortable! Sit alone and just let your mind wonder over your 2015. It may help to begin by recalling the year by the months starting with January. As thoughts come to mind take a moment to recognize them and then let them go. You will find certain areas that stand out to you, to make you smile and feel good, and areas where you feel sad and uncomfortable. You may feel disappointment and regret, as well as joyous, excited, and expectant; proud of the accomplishments you have made. Because we are all unique it is impossible to know what your reflections will reveal but reflecting on the following may also help you to focus.

Most people have no idea how good their body is designed to feel. ~Kevin Trudeau

What have you done in this year to improve your health and wellness? Perhaps you have markedly improved the quality of your diet and are now eating more healthy and whole foods. Or made a small but impactful activity change that has improved your health status, perhaps you lost weight and reduced or eliminated some medications? Do you now enjoy the benefits of a strong body and a healthy heart and lungs? Did you go to the Dr. for an annual physical? Have you stopped or reduced any unhealthy eating and drinking behaviors? Have you reduced your stress level and are you sleeping better?

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. ~Mark Twain

All of us have the capacity to grow internally to become the person we were created to be. How have you personally grown this year? Did you take time this year to periodically reflect on what you did and did not do? Was there an area of interest, a favorite hobby, or a persistent passion inside of you that you explored this year? How have you treated others this year, those in your family and your co-workers? How did you treat yourself? Did you take time to connect with yourself, slow down, and celebrate being alive? What are the top 5-things you are grateful for that the year 2015 has brought to you?

Hide not your talents, they for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade? ~Ben Franklin

Take a moment and think about your talents. Did you use them to accomplish what you wanted this year? Do you have a “dream” job or professional calling? What steps have you taken this year to move yourself closer to accomplishing your career goals and improving yourself intellectually? What obstacles did you face this year that may have slowed your progress? Do you still aspire to these career goals? Has anything changed over the course of this year? What are your feelings as you go into the New Year towards moving closer to your career and/or educational goals?

You always have time for the things you put first. ~Unknown

What has happened this year with your family and your community? What was good, what was hard? Did you grow closer to loving yourself and others this year? What are you most proud of that you have done in this area? Did you make the effort to spend quality time with your kids/grandkids, spouse, parents, and others important to you? Was there a time you got involved in your community, reached out to others in need, or volunteered to help others? Are you doing what you want and need to do to be more connected with those around you?

The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium. ~Norbert Platt

When you are no longer able to keep focus, it is time to grab pen and paper and write down the common or frequent themes that occurred during your reflection. Remember to congratulate yourself for what you are proud of and identify what you want to improve upon in the New Year. The unique gift of being human is in the capacity to improve our lives no matter what our age or circumstance. Here’s to a Healthy and Happy 2016!

Author: Priscilla Thornton, MSW, LCSW, Certified Profile Coach