Oakland, CA — New Year's carries a duality like no other holiday. While for some it can be a symbol of hope and pride, it can also feel like an overwhelming reminder of all there is to do.
In the weeks following New Year’s Day, people are usually working towards a new set of goals for the year. However, it can be equally valuable to simply sit and reflect on one’s own accomplishments and lessons learned from the previous year before planning for the future.
Carve out some time to accept the events of the past year, to acknowledge your accomplishments and achievements that do exist before planning for future goals. Journaling can be a wonderful way of intentionally taking the time to reflect. But it can also be an intimidating task, especially when it comes to reflecting on something as broad as an entire year’s events. Here are some prompts to consider or use for a more specific idea of what to reflect on!
- How did your mental health evolve in the last year? What coping skills did you practice, and what coping skills do you want to work on in the next year?
- What is one major obstacle you faced in the last year? What advice would you give yourself if you came across a similar situation?
- List five reasons why you are proud of yourself that were most relevant in this past year. Why these particular reasons?
When it comes time to make New Year's resolutions, focus on making fewer, more realistic goals. People often make several large-scale goals because they seem more exciting — sometimes starting small can help. Think about focusing on fewer small-scale actions you can implement into your daily life to make a resolution healthy and realistic.
- What is a new habit you’d like to take on in the new year?
- What realistic actions can you take to start the process of change?
- How can you maintain the process of change to stick to your resolution?
All of these questions serve as reminders of taking a moment to recognize one’s own accomplishments before planning for the future. New Year's resolutions don’t have to be anxiety inducing and stressful — they can also be a time of reflection and self-understanding!
Ivelisse Diaz (she/they), is a college student studying psychology from Oakland, California.
Edited by shaylyn martos