Clementine’s Patagonia Coat
Every January, I carve out some quiet time to reflect on the previous year. In the past, I’ve occasionally set New Year’s resolutions, chosen a word for the year to focus on, and/or created an inspiration board, all of which are great possible ways to set intentions and goals. Before doing any of that though, recognizing where my heart, mind, and body are starting the year is a crucial step in the process. Not only does taking time to reflect on the past year help me identify what I may want to focus on moving forward, it’s also a thoughtful way to recognize and celebrate successes. Who couldn’t use that confidence boost before diving into a new set of goals and intentions? Below, find ten ways to reflect as we begin not only a new year, but a whole new decade.
1. Write down all your favorite moments and memories from the year.
Jot down anything and everything that comes to mind, no matter how big or small. Scrolling your own Instagram feed or flipping through your journal may help jog your memory.
2. Choose a few photos from the year (perhaps inspired by your list of best memories) and print them out.
Use them to refresh a few picture frames in your home or add them to your bulletin board—anywhere you’ll see them often to inspire daily joy.
3. Evaluate where you stand with any goals or resolutions you had set.
Which ones did you achieve and how did you make that happen? Which ones did you struggle with and why? Were there any you abandoned (or even forgot about) that may be worth revisiting?
4. Identify the people in your life who had the greatest positive impact on your life over the past year.
Send them a text or email, pick up the phone, or mail a handwritten note to express your gratitude.
5. Consider which relationships were challenging over the last year and why.
What steps can you take in a positive direction this year? Choose one quick and simple action to take right now.
6. Make note of the best things you did for your mental and emotional health over the past year.
If they’re not already part of your daily or weekly routine, how can you better incorporate those practices on a more regular basis in the new year? Consider marking time in your planner or setting calendar reminders to make sure they remain a priority.
7. Get moving.
Especially during the holidays, it can be all too easy to let your physical health slide a little. Go for a jog or bike ride, get back into your favorite workout class, or queue up an at-home workout video to both start the year on an active note and do a quick check-in regarding your current fitness level. Bonus: set new goals and intentions for your health following your workout, while your endorphins are still pumping and you’re feeling extra motivated.
8. Thoroughly review your financial accounts to get an accurate picture of where you stand.
Schedule an appointment with a financial advisor to ensure you’re on track with long-term goals and to create action steps for the year in making progress.
9. Take a look around your space and assess what is and isn’t working for you.
What needs to change in order to make your surroundings more relaxing, inviting, or inspiring? Tackle any tasks that can be done in ten minutes or less right away, and then identify a few top-priority projects to pursue in the year ahead.
10. Go through your closet and make note of your favorite pieces and outfits you wore over the past year.
What did you love about them? Use what you learn to inform and inspire purchases in the year ahead. On the other hand, pack up anything that you no longer wear to bring to your favorite clothing donation or recycling organization.