Annual happenings like birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, new years, the start of another semester – as well as other major life transitions like the start of a new job or moving – are times that lead to and demand reflection. That said, the last few calendar years have looked quite different. They have been filled with waves of uncertainty. As we step into the end of this year, and into the next, here are some tips to set yourself up for success.
- Be kind to yourself – Self-compassion is a critical capacity to allow us to grow.
- Set realistic goals – New Year’s resolutions are commonplace at the beginning of the year. As you think about aspects of your mental and physical health, it is important to set realistic goals that matter to you.
- You know yourself and your needs best – There is no better expert on what you need and want more than you. Trust your inner voice and harness it with the new year ahead.
To aid in making this next year a success, here is an exercise to consider that might help enhance your health, well-being, and success even in light of these unprecedented times.
- Take a piece of paper and divide it into four equal quadrants
- In the top left quadrant, list all the things you liked or enjoyed about your pre-pandemic life.
- Next, list all of the aspects you did not enjoy or like about your pre-pandemic life
- Now consider your experience during the pandemic. What components have you disliked about this experience and place those in the bottom right quadrant.
- And finally, knowing there have been many tough things during the pandemic, have there been aspects you have come to enjoy? Maybe you are an introvert who has relished more alone time? Possibly, you have taken up cooking more as restaurants have varied in availability. Or enjoyed having more time at home with family in the absence of work travel.
As you take a look at your list, notice the take a look at the things in your “dislike” row. Can you let go of any of these things in the new year? How would that impact your mental health and well-being? Now, what would you like more of? Are there things from your like or enjoy list you can cultivate more of in the coming year?
By evaluating what you can let go of and what you may want to nurture, we can make this new year better than ever.