The end of one year and beginning of the next offers a unique opportunity to both reflect back and plan ahead. Because I’ve been a journaler and list-maker since I was very young, I’ve always loved this time of transition and chance to start fresh. If you read about my life-changing books last week, then you know that much of my reading over the past few years has led to the same conclusion: prioritize the people and activities that are most important and fulfilling and spend time there.
In my positive psychology reading, I’ve learned the importance of doing things that bring out positive emotions. What better time than now to reflect on things that make me feel happy and end the year feeling optimistic?
Here are three simple activities that I’m doing this week of vacation when I’ve stepped away from my emails, driving, and other day-to-day activities that get in the way of reflection and planning.
Reverse Bucket List
I saw this on Pinterest and knew I had to try it! Rather than writing a traditional bucket list of things I’d still like to do, this is a reverse twist on the activity, a kind of “life gratitude” list. Instead of listing those things I’d still like to do but haven’t, I’m going to list those items and achievements that have already happened. I know it will be a fantastic way to realize that, although there are still things I’d like to do, this has already been an amazing life and I have so much to be grateful for.
I’ll start with a regular list written on paper, but later I may add photos and create a small book of the cool things that have happened in my life.
Quote of the Year
This is something that sounds super fun for a quote-loving, reading, and writing nerd like me! I have a humungous quote board on Pinterest and I subscribe to Real Simple’s Daily Thought. I really enjoy reading and collecting quotes. I’m going to spend some time reading through my favorites, then I’ll write down one that best reflects or represents this past year. While I’m doing this, I’ll also find a quote to guide me for the coming year. Instead of writing goals for the year, I’m going to write out a quote that will remind me how to live and be, and I’ll keep it posted prominently as a reminder.
Review Favorite Books
There are many book lists of the most popular books and the NY Times Best Sellers from each year. What about my own favorites? I’ve written about some of the books that have inspired my parenting and others that have caused me to change something in my life, but I think this next list just needs to be my personal top 50 books. This will be a good reminder of which books I’d like to read again. With my aging brain forgetting so much of what I’ve read and heard, some of these favorite books will seem new again! This is just another way to reflect on a life that’s been full of great stories and ideas, learned from books. I’ll start the list this week and keep it handy, then add to it as I read and remember my favorite books. Of course, thinking about my favorite books makes me think that I could also create a list of my favorite songs and movies, too!
There you go. Three simple activities that will help me reflect on this past year and launch into the new one with a sense of gratitude. Are you going to join me in trying any of these? I’d love to hear what you think!
Thank you for reading my blog posts this year. I appreciate you.
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