Wrapping Up The Year

end of the year reflection values Nov 27, 2022

Right before us is that final month of the year, with its cold weather, glowing lights, and celebrations. I hope that you will be able to find some time throughout the craziness of it all to pause and reflect upon the year.

Looking back on the past 12 months may be bittersweet depending on your perspective. 2022 definitely brought its share of challenges. Maybe you did better than you thought, or maybe you feel a bit defeated because of the difficulties that it presented. Either way, it’s a great opportunity to focus on what went well (so that you can repeat those things) and what didn’t (so you can work on making adjustments and improvements). As you reflect, keep in mind that it’s very important to do so through the lens of curiosity. Far too often we default to judgment, shame, and guilt, believing that things “should” have turned out differently. Unfortunately, even if that’s “true”, it’s not at all helpful.

You may even find that some of the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year were out of line with what you REALLY wanted. That’s actually the reason that some of our goals fall by the wayside: they don’t have enough intrinsic meaning. This is especially true if some of the goals you set were goals not in alignment with your values.

Woman writing in journal with goals

What type of goals are you setting for yourself? Unsplash - Cathryn Lavery

An “Alternative” to Goal Setting

I love setting goals…but on their own, they often lack a values perspective. It’s almost like we skip a step. It’s so much better to create our goals directly from our values: What is important to us, and why? When we create our goals this way, they are likely to be much more meaningful to us, and we are therefore much more likely to stick to them.

Leading with Feelings and Asking Helpful Questions

As you spend some time on this, I would recommend focusing on these questions:

“What is most important to me and why?”

“How do I want to feel”?

“What needs to happen in order for me to feel that way”?

Now, figure out the next smallest step towards closing that gap between how you want to feel and what you need to do differently. Your steps will continue to evolve as the year progresses and as you put one proverbial step in front of the other. Hold on to the FEELING and your WHY. This can be so powerful.

Far too often, we create goals for ourselves that aren’t meaningful enough. For example, so many women create weight loss goals for themselves at the beginning of the year because they feel that they need to “fit” into a culturally constructed way of being that our society has dictated (i.e. you need to be thin to be beautiful). That isn’t a very compelling or strong why. So when temptations come up, that “why” isn’t going to be helpful. However, if it is your desire to lose weight for reasons based on your own values, you’re going to be far more successful at taking steps in order to accomplish those goals.

But Wait! The Year Isn’t Over….Yet

Keep in mind that the year isn’t over yet. You do not have to wait for the New Year to implement action items that will take you one step closer to your values today! If your goals or intentions are going to be important to you on January 1st, I am guessing that they are important to you now — today! So don’t abandon ship before the year is over! Start now with your evaluation of the year. How can you show up for yourself in the best way possible before the year is even over?

Calendar open on a table

You still have time to get started today! Unsplash - Eric Rothermel

Be True to You

As you reflect on the past year and what you’d like to work towards in the upcoming year, keep your values in mind. When I do my own yearly, reflection, I like to use this values list by habits author James Clear:

Try to focus on the things that have gone well. Celebrate what you HAVE done well during this past year. The next year brings new opportunities and a blank page. I wish you much health and happiness in 2023!

And if you're looking to make 2023 the year that you make some positive changes to your health, reach out! 

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