I cannot believe that the year has already come to an end. Where did the time go? It seems like every year goes by faster than the last. How is that possible? December 31st is always a bittersweet day for me. I love the thought of a new year; a fresh start. But, it also means that another year has passed and I have not accomplished nearly as much as I wanted to.
I know that I am my own worst critic and can be too hard on myself when things do not go as planned or when I don’t get to do the things I set out to do. This applies to my life personally, my role as mommy, managing the household tasks, and in our homeschool. However, the good news is that tomorrow is a new day; a new year. This time I am going to go about this whole New Years resolution thing in a different way.
First, after many years, I have learned that making resolutions just do not work for me. I have lots of big ideas, and then they always fall short. This year I am going to mix it up a bit! There is an old saying that comes to mind here,
“You don’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been.”
Well, that does make sense! This time around I took a few moments to think back over the past year to see what worked and what didn’t; what progress was made and what mistakes were made. I followed this thought process in areas such as how we spent our money, how I managed my time and our household, what routines and habits I had, and what I experienced in my personal and spiritual life. I did this not to make myself feel bad, or as a form of self-punishment (although it did feel like it at times!) but as a way to try and make positive changes in my life so that I can move forward; making the improvements I need to do so that I can work to reach my goals and grow as a person.
After all of this I was feeling a little overwhelmed, and a bit discouraged (enter Ben and Jerry’s!), but then I realized that even though I made plenty of mistakes, there were also some pretty awesome things that happened as well. I sometimes have a hard time remembering the good stuff in the midst of discouragement, but when I was doing my devotion in Our Daily Bread, I read about the “Thanks-Living” jar. It is a jar or container in which everyday you write down something that you are thankful for and place the piece of paper in the jar. At the end of the year you will have a visual reminder of your blessings, accomplishments, and milestones that have occurred throughout the year. This is something I am going to try and do this year to help myself focus on the positive aspects of my life, and not always on the areas where I failed or made mistakes.
So as another year comes to an end and a new one begins, I am going to use what I’ve learned from reflecting back over the last 365 days to try and become more focused and move forward despite what curve balls may get thrown my way. I have slowly been trying to make changes and find new ways to reach my goals and I think that after much searching, I have found several ways to accomplish this (including a word of the year); or at least that is my hope! Have you ever done a reflection like this at the end of a year, and if so, what did you learn from it?