At the end of last year, I wrote about making 2022 your best year yet, after a tough couple of years, 2022 offered fresh hope, but here we are in a cost-of-living crisis, showing us that not everything goes to plan.
All is not lost though, we still have the ability to look back and reflect on what has been, and this can help you create a great year ahead.
So before you set any New Year’s resolutions, try out this simple process of a past year review.
The problem with News Year’s resolutions
The main problem with New Year’s resolutions is that we are making them because of the date, and not because we are really ready to make a change.
New Year can act as a fresh start for some, but for others, News Year’s resolutions are more a hindrance than a help.
Related article: Stop Worrying About Breaking Your New Year’s Resolutions
Does goal setting work?
Goal setting can be a useful tool in steering you in the right direction – helping you understand what you want from life, and why you want it.
However, it tends to be the small things we do each day that shape our futures rather than the large goals we set.
An example would be changing the goal of losing a certain number of lbs, to a smaller habit that you can control, such as, practicing yoga for 15 minutes every morning, or getting 30 minutes of exercise after work each weekday.
Another example would be swapping the goal of wanting to be fluent in Spanish in 6 months’ time, to committing to practice for 10 mins each day at lunchtime.
This takes off the pressure of big goals and deadlines, but sets you up in alignment with what you want to achieve and makes it manageable.
When plans change
Whilst being resilient and adaptable helps along the bumpy path of life, it’s important that we learn to cope with change.
If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that plans change and sometimes things are simply outside of our control.
In these situations, it’s important to focus on the things we do have control over, such as our attitudes, behaviours, and the choices we make.
These little things can help us have a better outlook on life if we choose to focus on positive emotions like gratitude and finding joy in the little things.
Past year review
Instead of making more New Year’s resolutions, try a past year review instead.
In this simple process, you draw a line down the middle of a sheet of paper and create two columns, headed helpful and unhelpful.
Then you reflect on the past year (look through your diary/calendar if it helps) and make a note of any people, places, activities or behaviours that made you feel great, or not so great.
Now, grab next year’s diary and start scheduling in more of the good stuff. Book tickets, arrange trips, sort dates with friends and family, pencil in downtime, and prioritise your wellbeing.
Whatever worked well for you over the past year, do more of that. And try to limit the unhelpful stuff as much as possible.
Still feeling stuck or like things won’t change for the better?
If you are struggling with feelings of helplessness, self-doubt, or low confidence, please know that you are not alone and professional counselling can help you feel better so you can create the future that you want.
As a highly experienced counsellor, I offer psychotherapeutic counselling that concentrates on you as a whole person – mind, body and soul, because your wellbeing is made up of all these things.
I work in an environment where you feel comfortable, safe, and relaxed, giving you the opportunity to explore the obstacles you are facing. By talking regularly, we can work together to overcome challenges and move forward in a positive light so you can make this the year to turn things around.
If you would like to find out more about counselling or book a session, contact me for an informal chat.