If the sky is blue and the music is right, you might find yourself driving across a prairie doing 95 in a 65 zone. That’s because time and motion are relative, and when the world looks the same on all sides of you, you’ve got no frame of reference to judge your speed by. Self-reflection, or the absence thereof, is a bit like that. Sure, we update our blogs and Instagrams to memorialize and tell stories about the way we live, but how often do we stop to examine what we’ve told?
The working woman is too busy to pass the afternoon away sipping tea in a bay window seat, penning her innermost thoughts and desires in ever-so-careful cursive. We have projects to manage and gigs to book, code to write, profit and loss statements to compile, and we’re expected to look good while doin’ it. We have kids and parents and partners to care for, not to mention those two or three (or sixteen) hobbies we want to take up on the side. And too often we let the complexity of pondering “Who I Am” threaten us into fluttery 140 character bursts, without ever stopping to reconcile the consequences of our choices with our long-term goals.
Somewhere between the lost art of diary keeping and the spastic exclamations of the blogosphere is a healthy balance of self-inquiry. This short exercise is designed to reflect on the experiences of this year and jump start your next one. Isolating major life changes is healthy not only as a form of meaning-making but as a way of inspecting the trajectory of your future.
You will need: a writing device or utensil, and about fifteen minutes of uninterrupted time alone (optional: an espresso or a Manhattan).
- What changes did I make to improve myself?
- What changed in my relationship with myself and my body?
- What changed in my family?
- What changes did I make in my love life?
- Who did I devote my love to most this?
- What changed at work?
- How did my career goals change?
- What global changes did I feel on a personal level?
- What changed in my environment?
- What changed my financial situation?
- What changed in my relationship with the universe/a higher power/the divine?
If you want to use these questions to look forward to 2014 without making one of those silly resolution lists that we can’t seem to follow, simply take the list and point it forward (“What do I need to change in my relationship with myself and my body?”, etc..)
Have fun, and may 2014 be your best year ever.