In education, we think of years in two different ways; the school year and the Jan. – Dec. year. In the early months of the 2013, when we talk about “last year” in the office, meetings or in conferences, we might have to distinguish between one or the other. The conversation would go something like this, “Last year Johnny did really well in Math.” Someone will respond, “Last year or last ‘school year?’”
Regardless of which end of the year you find yourself talking about, there is a practice that everyone could benefit from – reflection. If you haven’t taken the time to really reflect, then you’re really missing out. There are so many benefits. Here are some questions that you can ask yourself as you reflect.
How did events, situations, circumstances affect you in the long run? – Were there certain situations or circumstances that are still playing a part in your life right now? Are there circumstances that seemed like they would be a big deal but didn’t amount to anything? Can you identify those big or “perceived” big situations from this last year?
How much does the stuff that happened back then matter? – This question goes along with the top one. Were there any situations or times that you thought something mattered greatly, but after a while didn’t turn out to be anything major? Yeah sure, there might have been a few days or even a week that this situation took precedence, but in reality, it didn’t mean anything big. You probably forgot about it until now. Sometimes we get really crazy about things that don’t amount to anything!
What life lessons did you learn? – Sometimes looking at our lives in big themes helps to keep things in balance. Themes or major points of our lives might include: family, friends, work, spiritual life, physical well being, health, finances, etc…
How will next year be different? Write it down. Set a plan. – It’s always good to write goals or plans down. It is a great feeling to go back years later and read about the goals that you had for your life. It’s even better when you read about the goals and you met them! Or you might remember some goals that didn’t get met that really weren’t that important anyway. Either way, if you don’t set some goals, you can meet your goals!
I should say that it is a good thing to take some quiet time to reflect. Also, don’t do all your reflecting at one time! 😉 Pace yourself. Do some, come back to it.
Lastly, you don’t want to end the year the same that you started. You want to grow as a person and become better than you were at the start of the year. The worse thing would be to get to the end of the year and say, “It was just another year.”
Do you reflect? How do you go about take the time to reflect?
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