Written by therapist Ruth-Nathaniel
Welcome to 2023! Usually the new year inspires change and goals, but before you set out to do any of that, I would encourage you to reflect. Reflect on the last year and the person you are because of it, and the choices you made.
Whether you accomplished that “big goal” or not last year, let’s take some time to express earnest gratitude for simply being here. You made it to 2023, and that is not something to take for granted. I’m so glad you’re here. How do you express gratitude? How would you like to bask in living in this very moment?
One way to ground yourself and express gratitude is to take in your present environment with all 5 senses, followed by expressing the sentiment “I am grateful for this moment” or something similar. Breathe deeply, listen closely, pay attention to the sights, smells, tastes, and touch with intention. Gratitude is especially important in reflection because it reminds us of what has helped bring us here into this moment, and sometimes those factors are seemingly insignificant or even overlooked until we take the time to consider what we are thankful for. Plus, once you start acknowledging what you’re grateful for, it’s quite difficult to stop!
What was important to you last year, and how did your decisions look because of it? Did you focus on friendships, self-care, connection, restoration, forgiveness, etc? The list goes on and on. Your values dictated a lot of what you did last year, so as you reflect on 2022, what do you make of your choices and the values that drove them?
It’s helpful to journal about a few of the key values that come to mind when you survey 2022. Perhaps these are values that you want to continue focusing on into this new year, but it may also highlight the desire to focus on new values for 2023, and that’s great too.
2022 is complete, and there’s not a single thing we can do to change how it all worked out. For some of us, that is a troubling sentiment, because we wish we could’ve done things differently. I’m here to assure you that it’s possible to feel longing for different past outcomes, while also making space for a better today and tomorrow. 2022 is indeed over, but 2023 is just starting. You get to learn from the past year’s experiences, and build on them. Perhaps this year you’ll be more mindful of patterns of thinking and/or behavior that have held you back from your full potential. Perhaps you’re feeling inspired to change and want to invest in yourself in ways you’ve never done before. These are wonderful jumping off points, and a great way to honor the past year as you make way for 2023.
Through gratitude, exploring your values, and accepting what is behind and ahead of you, you’re off to a more mindful start in 2023. Let’s celebrate the foundation laid by 2022, and continue to build upon it.
If this piece resonated with you, and you want to work on some strategies to start this season well, I’d be honored to support you. Give us a call about setting up an appointment today.