Past Year Reflections and New Year Affirmations
Over the more than 15 years of this newsletter I have many times offered a reflective writing practice that my Grandmother taught me. This “New Years Reflection” technique involves taking some time to reflect on the year that has passed, and setting aims and affirmations for the year to come. My Grandmother does this every year, taking some time to remember and feel the past year – not only the circumstances of the year, but also the inner experiences; the learnings, the growth, and the challenges. Take some time to sit down, preferably with pen and paper rather than a keyboard (there is something magical about handwriting), and explore your past year – kind of a ‘year in review’ just of your life, from your perspective. Not just what happened but, how did it feel? What were the flavors of this year? Where can you see your learning, your growth, your evolvement?
Once you have written your ‘year in review, you can begin to create your new year with greater self-knowledge and clarity, so take some time to begin to create the year ahead. What do you have planned for the year? How do you want your year to unfold? Can you begin to dream your health, relationships, career, practice, growth, and your highest aims for your personal evolution? Take some time to imagine, feel, taste, touch – as though you are already there – and then write it out, draw it out, make a vision board – whatever works for you.
Now, here is the key that makes this techniques different from the groggy declarations of New Year’s passed – once your years’ plan is complete, don’t just stuff it in a drawer – make it a part of your every day. From your longer piece of writing (or drawing etc) create some simple affirmations that target the larger perspective of your aims. Speak them in the positive (I will rather than I won’t), speak them as though they are already happening (I am rather than I want to be) and use all of your senses to feel as though it is happening now, in your body, in your life, in this moment. Take some time to sit with your affirmations every day. A few minutes in bed before your day begins, in your morning meditation or practice, or when you go to bed at night. Just a few minutes a day in imagination is all you need.
This technique goes far beyond the usual ‘resolutions’ that can tend to come from a place of desire for change, but lack the research and depth that successful goals need. And it can be an amazing experience after a few years of using this technique to read back from the beginning to reflect from a larger perspective the story of your life.
So, with that I wish you all a very happy New Year, and hope that you make the most of this opportunity to both pause and reflect, and to consciously create.