Today is the last day of 2012. As we all prepare to begin a new year and a new phase in our lives, we can look back on the year we just lived and take stock of all that happened. The joys. The disappointments. The beginnings. The endings. The pieces that can be wrapped up and put away, and the pieces that we can unwrap and set in motion for the new year. Whether you follow the secular new year or the Pagan new year or both, it certainly doesn’t hurt to do this sort of exercise more than once. I’ll be doing something similar again at Imbolc, but that will focus more on the metaphysical and spiritual, while this exercise today focuses more on the mundane and secular side of my life. You can divide the exercises out like that, if you like, or you can combine everything into the same exercise. It’s up to you!
The point of this exercise is to basically reflect on the year you have just lived, from January to December, and reflect on your life. Show yourself the things that made you happy; the new people you met; the people you said good-bye to; and any disappointments you had. It’s an opportunity to see where you are in your life and where you want the next year to go.
I like lists. Horror of horrors, I actually find lists fun. They speak to my detail-oriented, organized side, and there’s something satisfying about seeing a list–especially a to-do list as it gets checked off. However, you can do what works best for you: a graph, a chart, pictures, Venn diagrams, etc. But I will be making a list of everything I can remember happening over the last calendar year. I will be writing down everything I can remember that made me happy, and everything that made me unhappy.
After I’ve made my list, I will read over it. I will put a star next to all the items I consider good and a square next to all the items that were not good.
Then nothing. Set it aside.
I want to sleep on it. I want my subconscious to consider everything I just wrote down and categorized. Then, on New Year’s Day, at the start of the new year, I’ll look at the list again and see what I want to carry with me to the new year. Anything I don’t want to carry forward, I’ll wrap it up in my mind and place it on a mental shelf, to sit in storage as just a memory. The items I do want to carry with me into 2013 I’ll examine carefully. If they’re things that made me unhappy, then what have I learned from them, and how can they help me avoid more unhappiness in the new year? If they’re things that made me happy, what have I learned from them and how can they help me find further happiness? What do I want to put my energy toward in 2013?
A couple of items from my list:
- Promoted at work
- Went to the UK
- Moved into my own place
- Published my first novel
- Spent 3 weeks with someone I greatly dislike and nearly ruined my trip in the UK
- Fell off the wagon with no longer drinking soda
- Killed two plants because of my black thumb =(
I find these kinds of exercises helpful in figuring out my own mind. I hope it can be helpful for you, as well. Enjoy, and happy new year everyone!