Happy New Year! The last thing we left 2017 with was self-reflection and how it can help improve where we are in life. I hope you took the time to reflect on your year and identified the people or things that has led you to where you are at this moment. The journey does not stop at self reflection. Reflecting on the events and people in your life is just the beginning. As one of my readers commented, "Self reflection is always insightful. It allows you to be honest with yourself and hopefully remove your own barriers from in front to enable you to move forward to achieve happiness and personal fulfillment." If we do not act, there is no way to progress. To achieve fruitful happiness in life we must identify what has been good to us, what has been not so good and why.
For those that have yet to self reflect it is not too late. Here is a suggestion to get started. SET THE MOOD. For me, when I need to focus on something I listen to music. I find listening to music relaxing and effective. If you decide to listen to music make sure to be selective when choosing the genre. I believe certain genres give off a specific energy. For instance, if the song is too upbeat I struggle with finding my calming mood. Therefore, I listen to music that is mellow and typically no lyrics. I have two go to playlist. Both playlist were created by Spotify and I can say these playlist set the mood for me perfectly. I am able to deeply focus on the content I need sole concentration on and I am relaxed. If you are like me and have a Spotify account (preferably premium to avoid interruptions) look up their Zen and Deep Focus playlist. Thank me later. However, if you find music to be a distraction, find what works for you. The main goal is to set the mood so that you can focus on reflecting.
If you have identified the good, bad and the ugly of your year it is now time to set some goals (or keep doing what you have been doing if you are on the right path). One thing you want to make sure you do when setting your goals is to assure they are realistic and achievable. Do not make a fitness goal to lose a lot of weight in a little bit of time. It is impossible to take the healthy route of weight loss to lose a signigcant amount of weight in a short span of time. If this was a goal previously and you didn't achieve what you wanted ask yourself why didn't it work? This is where self reflection come into play. If you took the time to reflect you should have been able to identify the barrier(s) that prevented something from being successful. On the flip side, I am hopeful that you were able to find some things that were good for you as well. When you are looking at what has gone well for you make sure you do the same thing you did with the bad. Identify what worked and keep pushing. By making these goals, you create a path to better yourself. You will be able to acknowledge your strengths, you will know what mistakes to avoid and you will learn that you are capable of persevering through any obstacle.
We've self reflected. CHECK. Identified goals. CHECK. Now what? The last thing you need to do is differentiate what goals will be long term and what will be short term. Your short term goals should be achievable within three to six month. Your long term goals take a little bit longer to achieve so anything beyond six months, even if it takes years. It's a goal! Not sure how to identify a goal? Let me give you an example. One of my short term goals is to buy a bigger couch. Simple right? On the other hand, obtaining a masters degree in the next few years is a long term goal of mine. Finding a program took time (I found one), applying to the program will take time as well as enrolling into classes and finishing the program. As you can see, each of my goals lie on opposite sides of the spectrum. Try to remember that when setting your goals they do not always have to be complex becasue a goal is a goal. Small goals can lead you to bigger goals that can lead you to a better you. Soooooooo, get to setting your goals!