While I was recovering from the Gold Rush NYE party, I couldn’t help but to reflect on the highs and lows of 2018. I then moved onto making new year’s resolutions. It’s like an end-of-the-year routine for me. Making new year’s resolutions shouldn’t just be a random list of things, but something that you can carefully craft to tailor specific needs in order to make 2019 your best year yet.
The Reflection Process
I made lists. And you can too. Take a sheet, split it down the middle, and divide the columns into positives and negatives. I named mine ‘Took an L’ and ‘Bounced Back’, because why not? Once your (L) list is done, make sure you write positive notes or ways that you’re moving forward from that life event.
Took an L examples:
Update that résumé, LinkedIn profile, network, and apply for new jobs.
- Failed relationship.
You now know what you like and dislike in a partner. So, thank u, next.
- Fake friends.
Did I stutter? Thank u, next. Be grateful that you’ve learned from your poor decisions, but also — cut out toxic energy. Be glad you’re not spending more of your valuable time on people who don’t deserve it.
Your positive list isn’t just a list, these are your accomplishments! YOU DID DAT. Give yourself some credit by thinking about the factors that resulted from those wins (big or small), and add how you can continue to grow.
Bounced Back examples:
You’re educated, established a professional network, gained valuable experiences, and ready to conquer the world. Decide whether to go back to school to broaden career choices, or go and get that dream job.
- Gained a strong support group.
I was the type of person who was afraid to ask for help, so I’d end up bottling everything up until I became a ticking time-bomb that blew up in my own face. 2018 was the year that I first tried counseling. It helps when you understand why you think the way that you do, and how you can change that. My physical health deteriorated because I neglected my emotional state of mind. Your mental health is JUST as important as your physical health. Find those who are willing to just listen, understand, and be there for you.
Ultimately, the trick is to be optimistic. My therapist once said, although we may not have control over everything in life, we have control over our minds. And he’s so right. We can’t change the past, but we can change our mindsets. Find out what works, what didn’t, and then go from there.
Here’s a simple formula for your new year’s resolutions: Action + Frequency + Purpose.
Example: Take a class in something once a month to learn and adopt new skills.
Your reflection lists help you understand what you know, and the actions that you need to take. Now, we get down to the details. What are you going to do? How often? Why? The ‘why’ is what’ll make your resolution more realistic, why are you really aiming to be a better you?
Another strategy is to work backwards. Having a simple end-goal in mind helps you plan for the steps to get there. It doesn’t need to be an in-depth goal, either. I still don’t know what I want exactly. I just know that my end-goal is to be happier. My priority is now self-care. I wasn’t happy because I stopped caring about myself, but let’s get real. 2019, I’m bouncing back.