2017 was a big year for me. I turned 26, completed my first certification at the Cultural Intelligence Center, went to Peru (twice) then returned for the summer, moved to LA, started a new job, became a student again, passed my first quarter at Fuller Seminary, and am an official California resident (as of last week).
I went into the new year thinking it was to be my year. And it was in some ways. But in other ways, it wasn't. There were plenty of beautiful moments and dark ones too. I think life is about string all those moments together, integrating all the pieces - both the internal and external.
This theme of integration is on my mind exiting 2017 and entering 2018. My hope is that these questions help you reflect on all the pieces of the last year - the good, bad, internal, and external. I invite you to look at the full picture of 2017 instead of focusing on one loss, disappointment, or missed goal. That's the temptation, right? To bring whatever pain, failure or disappointment into the new year. But that wouldn't be the whole story, would it? Join me as I look back and then ahead, acknowledging each piece of myself with kindness and grace.
1. Best moments of 2017 - list your top three to five in no particular order.
2. Can you identify the parts of yourself you gave the most attention? Maybe it was your body, your emotions, your career, ect.
3. What about the parts of yourself you gave the least attention?
4. What about 2017 was worth waiting for?
5. What do you need to grief about 2017? Perhaps there is a disappointment, loss, or painful event you experienced that you need to recognize. Grieving is powerful, and without this step, it's often impossible to move on.
6. What do you need to celebrate about 2017? Think about something you accomplished, learned or fought for. Maybe it's one thing you did really well this year - something you really knocked out of the park or invested your all in. Be kind to yourself and pause for a moment to soak it in. You did that. And that's worth celebrating.
7. How did you honor your body in 2017?
8`. How did you honor your soul?
9. What about your mind?
10. Your heart?
11. Who stood by you in 2017? In other words, who did you feel supported or loved by this year?
12. Have you thanked them? If not, send them a quick text, or better yet, write them a note. I bet it will do you both some good.
Looking back, 2017 was made up of both loss and great joy. That's usually how it goes, right? Though there may be pain or disappointment, there is always light and life and hope for what's ahead. Now start looking ahead to the new year, anticipating all it could be and more.
1. What are you bringing to the table in 2018? How are you different than the year before?
2. What fears are you bringing into 2018? Are you afraid of failing, not meeting your goals again? Maybe you're afraid of getting close to someone in fear of disappointment. Take a moment to identify any fears you're carrying. The more you shed light on fear, the more you have the power to overcome it.
3. What do you want to be more of in 2018? Try to summarize your answer into a short sentence or phrase, something you can remember easily. Consider making this one of your mantras entering the new year.
4. Can you identify what you’re most hopeful for in 2018? An event, milestone, moment, ect…
5. What’s it going to take to reach that?
6. Out of the list you just made, what’s in your control and what’s not? Choose to let go of the things that aren’t and identify practical steps to move toward the things that are.
7. How are you going to honor your body in 2018?
8. Your soul?
11. Who are you going to invite to stand next to you in 2018? Maybe it’s your BFF or a friend you just met - whatever the case, write down that person’s name and make a conscious plan for how you plan to involve that person in your life. If there’s more than one, list them all.
12. How are you going to be kind to yourself this year? Can you identify some rhythms you want to put in place to help you stay engaged, present, and healthy? Maybe it’s going on a walk for 20 minutes each morning or setting aside time twice a year to get away. Identify at least one thing and list it below.
My hope for you this year is that you live full, integrated, healthy and aware. The more you recognize where you've come from and how you're entering this new season, the more prepared you will be to become your truest self. And I hope above all, that we all learn to be kinder to ourselves this year. 2018 is going to be good, friends.