While some people like to get a head start, most of us don’t really think about New Year’s resolutions until December 30th or 31st. It’s hard not to look back on the past year as we get ready to usher in the next. Even if you don’t make “resolutions”, taking a little time to consider what you might want to do differently in the year ahead is still productive. Self-reflection positively affects our lives and can lead to the changes that positively affect the lives of those around us.
Here are two exercises to kickstart your reflective thinking. They don’t take long and can be done anywhere.
Reflective Breathing Exercise:
• Close your eyes
• Listen to the sounds around you
• Next, turn your attention toward your breathing (placing a hand on your stomach can help you stay focused)
• Take several breaths with your attention fully focused in this way
• Let your thoughts wander toward the past year and what you would like for the year to come
• Take a few more breaths
• Start listening to the sounds around you again
• Open your eyes slowly
Reflective Writing Exercise:
• Write down a few thoughts about what went well this past year and what didn’t. For the items or situations that didn’t work out well, articulate why. Then, identify reasonable changes you can make that will lead to the outcomes you hope for.
Whether you begin reflecting now or wait until January, here’s to an improved version of ourselves in the 2019.
We’ll resume blogging in the new year. Until then, all of us at Franklin wish you and your family a happy and healthy holiday season!