Hey you, busy woman? Are you telling yourself you’re too busy to reflect on the year and the things that really matter to you?
I realize that this time of year is stacked with stress and added responsibilities beyond your normal ones, which alone seem undoable. The relentless to-do list, and yet our society keeps piling on. When will it stop? It won’t stop until you decide that YOU and your inner peace are more important than the agenda to do more so you can have more.
How about slowing down with me for a few minutes? Your soul will thank you for it. Literally, how about giving me 15 minutes of your time right now…to connect with yourself. The world won’t collapse if you decide your mental health and wellness is worth these few minutes.
This blog will provide you a guided practice to inner peace all throughout the year. However, it’s even more important during December due to the added holiday stresses.
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The Importance of Year-End Reflections
Even though the year end is an arbitrary ending, as is all of time and its constructs, we humans love structure. Part of us loves beginnings and endings, and another part of us is terrified of them because they represent the unknown.
It’s important to reflect on the end of the year because it gives your mind a container to say, “This year that is almost over is worth a few moments of my attention. It’s a part of my life I will never get back. And perhaps by reflecting on it, I will get some clarity about how to move forward into this blank tablet of 2024.”
1) Reflective Journaling: Questions to Guide Your Reflection
- What is something you did this last year that you’re proud of and why?
- How did you help another human being in some way that meant a lot to them? If you didn’t, would you be willing to do that this month?
- What is one human you’re really grateful for in 2023 and why?
- Is there something you did that you regret? If so,do you need to make amends with them? If that’s not possible, are you open to forgiving yourself?
- What is one thing you want to see more of in 2024? Can you start early and bring this to your December to brighten the holidays?
That’s it. Now let the answers you’ve written percolate to the surface over the coming weeks and see how they positively impact your and others’ lives.
2) Crafting a Vision Board: Visualizing Your Goals for the Next Year
You might prefer to create a visual demonstration of your thoughts, dreams and desires for the upcoming year. If so, you can create a vision board the old-fashioned way by cutting out gorgeous photos from magazines. Canva is also great for creating a digital vision board.
The subconscious mind interprets symbols and imagery. A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say. By giving your mind an appealing image, you’re instructing it in a powerful way to go after what you want. Then be sure to look at your collage of pictures daily.
3) Meditation: Finding Peace in the Closing Year
Easiest of all, you can simply sit or lie down and focus on your breath. Let your mind be a mind, and don’t worry about your wondering thoughts. If you focus on your breath, just keep returning to it.
If you prefer to be guided, then you can go to youtube and google meditations. You’ll find countless ones. You don’t have to be a monk and meditate for hours. Do it 5-20 minutes a day. The intention to meditate is what’s most important.
4) Sharing and Celebrating: Hosting a Reflective Gathering
Many families may not be open to this exercise, but some will. If you’re uncertain if your family will participate, what if you stretched yourself out of your comfort zone and asked. The fear is that they’ll say no or maybe even make fun of you for the request. Just remember. Many people fear connection; their apparent rejection is not really a rejection. It’s their fear talking and has nothing to do with you.
If your family isn’t up to this level of intimacy, consider gathering friends who are.
5) Nature & Animals: Appreciating Their Presence and Beauty
Take a walk in the woods. Go to a nearby park. Hike a nearby trail. Go caroling with a few of your friends, and sing songs to strangers, lifting their spirits. Sit around a campfire and have smores.
Do something to invite fresh air into your lungs, if clean air is available where you live. There is natural beauty all around you. Soak it in.
Do you have a favorite pet? Stroke their fur and give them a little massage. Look in their eyes. Snuggle with them. I’m sure they’d appreciate it as much as you do. It releases endorphins (feel-good hormones) for both of you.
6) Creating Art: Expressing Your Year Through Creative Mediums
My friend, Bethany Schmidt, owns Free Spirit Creativity. Bethany will give you great ideas on how to express yourself through nature and art. Check out her website. She offers classes that help you to align with the sacred awe of your true nature.
Expressing yourself through art can be a gateway back to your authentic self and your inner peace. They are still alive within you. They may need to be excavated.
Conclusion: Closing the Year with Gratitude and Anticipation
There are many ways in which you can reconnect to yourself and find peace at the end of a busy year. So much is going on in our world today. It’s very easy to get swept up in the drama and suffering and focus on all that is wrong.
Check out one of the 6 guided practices. Don’t feel you have to do them all. Pick one and implement it. Make this December more special through one of these practices. It will bring forth a seed of gratitude that will sprout as the months go by.
Whether you enjoy journaling, creating a vision board, meditating, hosting a reflective gathering, spending time in nature and/or with animals, or expressing yourself through art, there is something here for YOU. I’m sure of it. Allow it. Give yourself permission to indulge in the serene present moment.
If you’d like support to connect with you and those you love, creating a richer experience of life, it’s important to slow down. Schedule a chat with me to see what your next step is.