Time is funny. Sometimes one minute can feel like forever, while at other times a month seems to disappear in a blink of an eye. Which is why, at the new year, I often find myself asking, Where did the time go?
Where did the time go? I realized several years ago that behind this question lay something dangerous. It was fear, in the form of negative self-talk, scolding me. You haven't accomplished enough. This is what the fear would say. And at some point, I got tired of feeling this way.
Which is why I developed a practice for myself around the new year. Rather than asking 'Where did the time go?' as more of a rhetorical question, I would instead truly ask - and truly answer - the question. Where did the time go? Because behind that question also lies something invaluable. It is the potential to reflect on the question: Am I spending my precious time on this earth doing what is most important to me?
Enter the ritual I now call, very simply, "My Year In Review". I so look forward to this now every season. I sit down with a cup of cocoa, pull out my calendar from the last year, take a look back through the months, and write. Since I am a lover of lists, I do just that: I make lists!
In order to do this, I recommend you take a broad look at 'accomplishments'. What does that mean? A capitalist society associates the words 'accomplishment' or 'success' as business-oriented words. While work is important, to broaden the scope, here are some categories to consider:
Reflecting on a broad range can give you a greater sense of satisfaction and reason to celebrate, rather than mourn, time past. While at the same time, this reflecting also allows you to take an honest look at the question of, Am I spending my precious time on earth doing what is most important to me?
Take time at the end of your year in review to re-evaluate what is most important to you. Was this actually the focus of your past year? Whatever your answer may be, whether you did or did not spend a significant amount of the year doing what was most important to you that year, just notice it without judgement. Now take a look at the new year ahead. Write down what is most important to you, and then write down three concrete actions you can take this year to keep yourself focused on what really matters.
This is one way to celebrate the end of the year, to look forward to the year ahead, and ultimately to live with greater awareness and appreciation. Give it a try and let me know how it goes!
Wishing you a wonderful 2018.
Author: Laura Burns
Healing Arts & Creative Arts. Let's inspire.