Before You Start Your New Year . . .

 In Better Life

One of the great things about writing a holiday letter to share is it makes you think back on the past year. What happened? What changed? What did you do that was different or interesting? In our busy culture, we seldom slow down enough to appreciate past experiences.

I’m grateful for my dear friend Susan Young. A few years ago, she suggested that we get together and think about our goals for the coming year. But first, she recommended we review the past year. Together, we made a list of all the things we had accomplished and experienced in our work, our relationships, and our home life. It was so fun and rewarding to think back on the good and the challenging. I had achieved several goals and had overcome several challenges that I had forgotten until I spent some time reflecting.

So as 2021 winds down and you get ready to launch into a new year, take time to review. Even if some situations didn’t go as you wanted, consider how you grew or learned from the bumps in the road. Be sure to savor your successes and those moments you enjoyed. Dr. Darlene Mininni, author and professor on happiness and well-being, recommends reflecting on the following as the new year begins:

  • How are you better? Maybe you gained new wisdom or strength from a challenging experience or improved on a quality you value.
  • What do you have? Before you think about what you wish you had, consider what treasures you already possess. This could include having a reliable car, a warm place to live, or even that favorite pair of shoes.
  • Feel it. When you think about the positive events from last year, take the time to savor them. Replay the experience and feel the positive emotions again.

Wishing you and yours a new year filled with peace, joy, love, and light!

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