As another year draws to a close amidst tunes of Auld Lang Syne, we are reminded that our time is limited and that a well-lived life is a meaningful one. But how can we cram one year into a day or two of resolution setting? A couple of hours in a quiet corner pondering over three verbs could do the trick.
Linear reflecting may be easier if done in chunks of time, like months. You can write each month in a column and jot down 2-3 key happenings from that month. Alternatively, conceptual reflecting could simply focus on key events, learnings, and successes and yes even the failures of the year. There is no right or wrong way: whatever works for each one of us to help us rewind back and reflect on these key moments. How did they make us feel? Did we worry too much? Played too little?What worked well? What didn’t? Did you honor your values? Or did you have to compromise them? Jot down some notes of what defined the year for you.
Once you narrow down to a handful of key memories/events from your year, it’s time to examine them more closely by zooming in zooming out to your life. While hindsight is usually 20/20, would you have handled differently given the chance? Time is our most scarce and hence valuable resource. We need to recalibrate our thoughts and actions so that we can use it well. What would you tweak to reach a balance? Less work, more rest? Less Facebook, more books? Less worry, more meditation? Of course, whatever worked well, you probably will chose to do more of. Whatever it is now is the time to decide how much of your time you will spend on what.
Usually as January rolls around, and the festive season ends, we quickly get back into our old groove, back to the grindstone, abandoning our grandiose plans after a few days. Maybe this year we can curate our life a bit by jotting down the months of 2014 and next to them 2-3 things we want to accomplish. Personally I decided to event try and curate the day with chunks of “exercise”, “learn”, “build”, “do”, “connect”, “apply”, “release”, “give”, “thank”(you can define your own ‘chunks’ of time depending on what is important to you). This way, hopefully as each day and then month comes to a close, we will have clearer picture of how we are using our dwindling time to achieve our goals, connect with our loved ones, overcome difficulties and make a difference in my community and hopefully the world at large.
Reflect, Recalibrate, Restart then for Auld Lang Syne and Happy New Year!
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