The holiday hustle is behind us. The time of presents has passed, and it's a great time to get present! I'm talking about the present moment! The new year is here. What can we do to make it a good one?
While mindfulness is about appreciating and fully experiencing the present moment, we can also benefit from mindfully reflecting on past moments, and mindfully setting goals for the future.
Let’s talk about how we can use mindful reflection and goal setting to start the new year and decade off in a (mentally) healthy way.
Here are some ideas for mindful reflection:
- Looking back on 2019, what brings you pride? Did you accomplish something? It does not matter how small. Notice the pride: where do you feel it in your body? What does it feel like? Take note of the location and the sensation. Sit with the pride.
- What brought you happiness/joy in 2019? Notice the happiness in your mind and in your body. What does it feel like? Where is it? Is it warm? Is it in one place, or spread out? Sit with the happiness.
- Did you overcome any obstacles? Did a hardship pass? Did you feel relief? Recall that situation and notice the relief, the pressure lifting off you. Sit with the relief.
- Finally, what made you feel connected in 2019? What people, groups, situations brought you a sense of belonging and connection? Notice where you feel that. What does it feel like? What does it look like in your mind? Sit with the feelings of belonging and connection.
Now, try setting some goals:
- What would you like to accomplish in 2020? Pick some small things (e.g. things you can jump right on and feel pride in quickly) and some things you would like to try/start this year. Don’t worry about pressuring yourself to finish anything huge. Just promise yourself you’ll give something new a shot.
- What prideful moments, happiness, and relief would you like to remember if you were to practice the above exercise next December/January?
- Ideally, what would your social life look like in 2020? Do you want to make new friends, try a new group environment, join a new activity? Are there relationships you’d like to improve, or ones you want to remove? When you think of “connection” and “belonging”, what would you like more of in 2020?
Be intentional and allow yourself to sit down and try the above exercises. It is possible to do these as a shared activity with loved ones. Don’t get lost in the hustle. Do make time for the now, for self-care. Also, allow yourself to start very small with goals in the new year. Often we “fail” when we set goals that are too big for us to handle but we think we “should” be able to handle. It is much often more compassionate to yourself and realistic, to start small with new goals.
Wishing you a mindful year ahead!