The end of the year is always a reminder to look ahead and set new goals. All too often, we forget to look back. Instead, we focus only on our New Year’s resolutions. However, it is just as important to reflect back on our accomplishments, experiences, and personal growth. Take a look at these 5 reasons to reflect on the past year before looking ahead.
Reflect with Gratitude
Looking back brings a sense of gratitude. Each of us has so many things to be thankful for. Taking the time to look back at the year and beyond can bring a sense of gratitude. And why is gratitude important? Gratitude calms our mind and pushes our ego aside. Gratitude raises our consciousness level to a higher vibration. This higher vibration attracts not only peace and gratitude, but also more abundance. Simply put, being grateful for what we have allows us to receive more abundantly.
Reflect on Accomplishments
Looking back brings a sense of accomplishment. Because our conscious minds can only focus on one thing at a time, our memory is often skewed by recent events. It takes time and effort to think back to everything that has occurred throughout the past year. But when we do, we will see that we accomplished many things. Some things felt important at the moment, but have become less important with time. While other things that felt insignificant at the time now have greater meaning. By taking time to reflect on our accomplishments, we gain a greater understanding of what’s important and what’s not.
Looking at our list of accomplishments creates as sense of pride. This self-pride goes hand in hand with gratitude. It is not a self-pride that puffs up the ego like an end-zone victory dance. Instead, it is a feeling of satisfaction. It is a time to feel proud in what we have done, and feel good about ourselves. We are strong, smart and capable. We are not at the top of the mountain yet, but we have certainly come a long way.
Reflect on Experiences
There is more to life than accomplishments. Experiences are the real treasures. Take some time to think about the experiences you had. In fact, don’t just think about the experiences, feel them. Recall the memories of the things you have done, the places you have been, and most importantly the people you have shared them with. These are your gifts forever. Research has shown that people are happier when they invest in experiences as opposed to things. So, reflect and savor the experiences you had this year.
Reflect on Growth
The great motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar used to say, “You are either green and growing or red and rotting. So, stay green and growing.” If you are engaging in life at any level, it is impossible NOT to grow. The only question is have you paid attention to your growth?
Take time to think about last year’s challenges, victories, and mistakes. Our greatest growth often comes from our most challenging times. Take the time to reflect on those experiences and think about what you learned and how you can grow. Personal growth is a gift that no one can ever take away from you, and you can use it over and over again.
Reflect for Perspective
The ultimate benefit of reflection is greater perspective. If we use the mountain climbing analogy, perspective shows us how far we have come and how far we have to go. It brings both feelings of satisfaction and humility. It helps us see a bigger picture of our life. And finally, it prepares our mind to look ahead with the proper amount of self-esteem and self-confidence. We each have accomplished so much, and we have so much to be grateful for.
A Well-deserved Rest Stop on Your Journey
Our journey is not finished. So, take this time to rest on the side of the mountain. Find a flat spot and grab a rock to sit on. Catch your breath and take a few minutes to enjoy the view. Take some deep breaths and savor everything that comes into your senses. Really feel the moment. And when you are ready…but not until then…look towards the top of the mountain…see your path… and take your next step.