A year can go by in the quickest of flashes. And while each successive day may seem to differ just slightly from the last, when a year’s worth of those days has passed, we may find ourselves in an entirely new place from when we began.
While the past must stay in the past – as dwelling will do us no good – I think that reflection is an important component of personal growth. Looking back at a period of time all at once, like a snapshot, can allow us to see what we’ve accomplished and how we’ve grown – spiritually, physically, emotionally, and more.
Reflection can be done at any time – and can focus on any amount of time – but when the end of a year comes around, reflection always seems to join it naturally. With the final days of 2014 making their appearance, I’m looking back on the past few hundred of them – and urging you to do the same.
I love to make a little comparison chart to see where I am right now, compared to where I was exactly a year ago. Where I live, what I do for work, where my health stands… This past year was full of lots of changes for me, and it’s really crazy to realize just how much a typical day differs for me right now vs. the same time last year.
It’s also fun to list out accomplishments – in all aspects of life. For me, it’s reassurance that all of my hard work was not for nothing; that even though I may not see it on a daily basis, when I look at the bigger picture, the ever-changing path I’m carving for myself is full of so many milestones. It helps me to trust that this path has me headed in the right direction – whatever that direction may be.
Lastly, it’s fun to write down some memories – whether big or small. Places I saw… people I met… situations that had me dying of laughter. These are the things that infuse joy into each and every day. These are the moments that we string together to create a life filled with happiness.
Whether your year was full of big changes, or small changes, or good ones, or not so good, it’s always best to look back with a smile. Be proud of your accomplishments, and look at hardships as both opportunities and learning experiences. Know that everything is happening as it should – and use this reflective snapshot as ammunition to create the best next year of your life.
2014, thank you for all you’ve given me. And 2015… Let’s do this.