There are many philosophies on how to live the good life, do better, be better, make more money, be healthier, etc etc...
Right now many are being bombarded with thoughts of new year's resolutions and "I'm going to do this next year" but we all see that more often than not that doesn't go the way we plan, in fact one SUPER funny example is that I went to an amazing conference in December of 2019 called the "Best Year Ever Conference" and it was centered around planning and creating the next year of your life as your "Best Year Ever." If you didn't notice yet, go ahead and look at the date of that conference... hahaha! Wow were we in for a treat. I can't tell you how many times I laughed at my 2019 Workbook that said "Best Year Ever" and my strategy for tackling for 2020 hehe....even now it's still super funny to me, but I do like laughing at the challenges of life it's been something that has really helped me quite a bit - after all, we are on a giant spinning rock that really doesn't seem to concerned about what our plans are so why not give it a chuckle.
So how do we make progress though, regardless of pandemics, meteors, or whatever this human experience brings us? Simple, reflection.
A lot of people check out this time of year, or get into the holiday bustle of presents and baking and family and friends or whatever it is for you, and that's good, that's healthy, in fact this is a great time of year to make great advances in your business if you're an entrepreneur because of how much calendar space can be created to focus on strong activities. No matter what your role though or desires or circumstances, an act that has stood the test of time for making progress or helping us to be our best selves year after year and to develop further is to reflect.
There are a few main areas of life where reflecting tends to compound and give us the most impact, and you don't need to spend hours doing this, although if you start to think about it and spend more time reflecting even in little moments it can become a habit that helps, and here's a few tips in the interest of keeping this article short.
Reflect on a few certain areas of life, and understand reflecting is most valuable when you are honest and look directly in the mirror and own your mistakes and the reality of things as well as smile at what's good. The primary areas of life to reflect on are physical health, mental health, relationships (tribe/family/friends), finances, energy (spiritual), career/work/business, and contribution/impact on others.
There's a few different ways to reflect, the strongest generally being with a pen and paper and writing out the above areas and putting down things that went well in each of them as well as things that you'd like to see go better in the future - and don't set goals, that's not what we are doing here do that after or later - we are simply reflecting and acknowledging things, giving them attention.
Another way to reflect is to simply sit in silence, or put on music that doesn't have many or any words, and let your mind wander to see what comes up. Because this time of year is very family/friend/end of year focused, our minds will naturally gravitate towards these things. As an example we are maybe happy we improved our finances and can get that extra gift or we are not happy about it and it's a source of stress, either way it's on our mind so let that thought appear and give it some attention as to why. We are also natural problem solvers so by viewing these areas of life thoughts can appear that help us problem solve and lead us towards improvements (goals? milestones?)
Talk to someone, or several people. If you do this, it's a good idea to try and talk to people who don't have "skin in the game" for example if you are thinking about generating better relationships talk to someone outside your family or closest friend, maybe even a random person who seems like a good listener. It's really incredible what kind of advice you can get from people who barely know you and are just giving honest perspective. But talking about these areas of life around this time of year can really help resolve undesired negative emotions and amplify positive ones because we get to again, naturally drive ourselves forward.
Just do it.
There is no right or wrong or best way for everyone, but when we look at history some of the most profound thinkers in our current version of history like Marcus Aurelius show us that "meditating," a form of reflection that doesn't necessarily mean sitting cross-legged on a pillow, has tremendous value and I hope if you're not already doing it that you will carve out some time for yourself, even if it's 5 minutes per day to think about what's good in your life and what's something to be improved and what you've learned recently or over this last year or any segment of time you choose.