As we begin our journey into 2018, it’s important for us to sit back and reflect on 2017. As a child and teen therapist in Washington DC, I have been talking with families about how to utilize reflection in an effective manner while also setting meaningful goals for the future.
During all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we may not have taken the time to sit back, relax, and reflect. Don’t worry- we are only a few days into the new year! Throughout the past 365 days, we have all experienced a variety of emotions, interactions, ups and downs, challenges, and triumphs. You may be thinking that 2017 was your best year yet, or you couldn’t be more ready to start 2018. Either way, how can we learn from our experiences this past year? How can we appreciate what occurred (the good, the bad, and the ugly) and focus on setting new intentions? How can we notice what we did and did not accomplish without judging ourselves?
Consider the following activity:
- Take 15-30 minutes to sit in a quiet and comfortable space, if you want to do this activity individually. If you want to do this activity as a family, you can make a whole night out of it- a fun dinner, games, and a new years reflection and planning session!
- You can either use a blank sheet of paper or this worksheet (great for kids or for those of us who like the organization)
- Ask yourself these questions for your reflection piece:
- What worked?
- What didn’t work?
- How would you describe 2017 in 5 words?
- In what ways did you grow (personally, professionally, etc.)?
- What did you learn about yourself?
- Ask yourself these questions for your planning piece:
- What are you most looking forward to?
- What are 5 things that you want to occur/change this year? (focus on what you have control over and make sure these are all doable)
- Who do you want to spend more time with?
- What are you looking forward to?
- You can hang this somewhere where you’ll see it often (accountability!) or if you’re doing this as a family activity, feel free to share with one another.
- Remember- this activity is meant to help us reflect and plan, not to fixate and judge ourselves.
Happy New Year!
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” – Albert Einstein