What does New Years Eve mean to you? Is it time to celebrate, reflect, or both? For some it is the time of year to consider the past year—successes, challenges, achievements and the tasks that didn’t quite go to plan. For others, it is purely a time to share with family and friends, and to celebrate the coming of a New Year.
Reflecting on 2015
New Years Eve can provide a great opportunity to reflect on the past year. During the day I will be looking back on my year at my successes, as well as my lessons. I like to consider all areas of my life—relationships, work, self-care, hobbies and special projects, including my past New Years resolutions. Whilst I make time regularly during the year to review my direction, and my goals, on New Years Eve I like to make a final stocktake, so I can move into the New Year with clear priorities.
A mindfulness approach to life means that we take time to assess and reassess whether our choices are working for us. Often we can be clear about our direction, for example improving our fitness, losing weight or completing a work project, but unsure how we are going to reach our goal. Mindfulness increases our self-awareness, and how we are reacting to our new choices. It builds confidence in trying different approaches to find the one that suits best. When we practice mindfulness, we acknowledge that what works today may be different to what is required for tomorrow.
For example, when we set a goal that involves changing the way that we eat, our new choices might include our:
- Selection of food—type and amounts
- Relationship with food—good versus bad food
- Reasons for eating—true appetite, boredom, or stress
It is tempting to start with 1., but changing the foods that you eat is only going to last for a short time, if your main reason for eating is stress. The stress will continue to drive you to eat, regardless of your knowledge of healthy eating. But once you identify 3., as your priority, then you can begin to introduce choices that decreases your stress levels, and improve your ability to identify and resolve sources of stress.
I highly recommend taking a stock take of your year. Keep your successes and lessons to take with you into 2016, but let go of anything that no longer works for you.
Celebrating New Years Eve
Celebrating New Years Eve means different things to different people. I encourage you to enjoy New Years Eve in a way that is meaningful for you. You might like a quiet evening at home, or a night out with others to view the fireworks.
I don’t always see in the New Year, but, for some, the excitement of counting down to midnight is a highlight of their year. Whether you choose to see in the New Year or not, I encourage you to enjoy each moment of New Years Eve. And I wish you health and happiness in 2016.