Part 1 – New Year’s Eve
At the end of every day before I go to sleep at night, I will sit in bed and share my thoughts, feelings and emotions with a notebook beside my bed.
The small orange leather bound pocket notebook is amazing at holding all my frustrations, concerns, and emotions, both positive and negative.
It helps me offload these thoughts to paper ensuring that I prioritise the number one pillar of health, a good night’s sleep.
This practise of journaling which I call ‘Daily 3,2,1’s’ encompasses reflection, gratitude and productivity, and I use the teachings with all my clients.
Reflection can be a very empowering process. It can help you to make sense of your day; to come to decisions, to set a course of action; to step away from your habitual way of doing and thinking and discover new freedoms and opportunities.
Gratitude is proven to have a direct effect on our happiness, helping us to be more resilient and turn obstacles into opportunities. To deny ourselves daily gratitude is to self-sabotage.
Productivity in the form of a ‘most important task’ for the following day gives us I clear goal to achieve, something to wake up and focus our efforts on the following day.
According to mental health professionals, journaling is one of the most recommended tools to have a clearer mind and a happier life.
As a daily practise it can reduce stress, help with depression and anxiety, focus your mind, and organize your life. But it can also be applied at specific times of the year to make sense of what is behind us and focus on what is in front.
And today is a perfect day for that
(News Year’s Eve)
The problem with having such a time for reflection is that it invariably causes us to compare ourselves with others.
It can be a catalyst for negative reflection and comparison, often leaving us feeling quite miserable. The only comparison that we should be doing is of course against ourselves, yesterday, and seeking to improve ourselves incrementally day by day.
It’s easy to focus on the things we haven’t achieved, they stand out, but it is important to recognise the things we have achieved. It’s key to focus on these positives of what you’ve achieved or learnt in the past year.
Personally, I do think there’s significance in this time, and that it is possible to use the end of the year as a healthy catalyst for change, reflection and future planning.
Healthy self-reflection should be positive and productive. Every experience is an opportunity to learn whether it be good or bad, helpful or unhelpful. As well as reflecting on goals that may not have been achieved, take a moment to reflect on the journey, the learning, the discovery, the small things that you did accomplish, the ability to manage the unexpected and the strength to have made it through the year.
Taking a few moments out of the busy festive period to really explore these emotions, thoughts and feelings and then learning how to channel them in a productive way to set new goals will help you understand yourself better and set you on the road to success next year.
So, take out your notepad, your diary or open up the notes section of your phone and spend a little time today on looking back before we start to look forward tomorrow.
Part 2 – New Year’s Day
From Reflection to Change