Before you look toward 2018, it's a good idea to first reflect on what you accomplished this year.
A year is a cycle, which includes a beginning and an end, and although life isn’t over when the clock strikes midnight on December 31, it does nonetheless mark the end of a period of life that merits some reflection.
A pause along the way
Just as there is a tradition of looking forward and making projections and resolutions about the coming year, it’s also important to take a look back and tally up the negative and positive events that took place. Above all, an end-of-the-year assessment is a very useful occasion for being thankful for all the gifts we’ve received, and in particular, for all our small or large victories. Our personal evaluation is a way to connect with ourselves; consequently, it should be done without rushing, although each person has his or her own style.
Key ideas for your personal self-evaluation:
See past events with healthy realism. Being aware of the positive aspects helps us to grow; acknowledging the negative ones is a good starting point for new resolutions.
Stop and enjoy the simple things that you have experienced and achieved during the year, without limiting your appreciation only to the most striking successes.
Appreciate the moments of difficulty and suffering because they have been life lessons and opportunities for growth in many ways in your own life.
Value everything that really should count in life, above all the love and affection of your family, friends, and acquaintances. The most resilient people and those who best overcome difficulties are those who are aware of living their lives surrounded by people who love them. We need a healthy balance of priorities.
Make resolutions based on the points you have analyzed. Each year, we can measure our growth by looking at the resolutions and objectives that we set for ourselves and by seeing which ones we achieved.
Remember, above all, the motivations that have inspired you throughout the year, so as to renew them and strengthen them. Self-fulfillment in life has a very specific foundation: the values and motivations that guide us in each moment.
Going from analysis to new resolutions. Concrete steps:
Begin with your achievements. It’s important to be as clear and simple as possible, because this is an assessment of and for ourselves. Our achievements should give us satisfaction and motivate us to work towards new victories.
List unreached goals. Realism helps us to understand if one of our resolutions was too ambitious or somewhat unrealistic.
Focus on points to improve. This is the main objective of every assessment. We learn from experience, and thanks to this kind of reflection we grow in self-knowledge, which translates into benefits for our personal development and for our relationships with others.
Write and enumerate the resolutions that you have decided on, and give yourself strong motivations. Making our resolutions specific and well-defined is necessary if we want to work on them effectively during the new year.
Express some of your goals or resolutions in public. This is a way of committing ourselves before others, and it develops the empathetic and affective dimension of our lives.
Tips for increasing our efficacy in fulfilling our good intentions:
Change “have to” to “want to.” This way, instead of working on the level of obligation, we are on the level of desire. Motivation is of great help when we activate it.
Set concrete goals. The expected results should be realistic, and their fulfillment should be measurable.
Only set goals that depend on you. Don’t tie your results to the will of other people, since there are things that don’t depend on you.
Begin to work on your new resolutions as soon as possible. Don’t leave for tomorrow what you can do today.
Take your time. Giving yourself time is key for strengthening the certainty that you will fulfill your resolution. Not all results arrive immediately.
Give yourself little rewards/compensations every time you make an achievement.
When you finish this assessment, you should be left with a feeling of hope and a positive attitude regarding the coming new year. The ship of life sails when we have our sails raised, but it’s not enough to know where north is and to move the rudder; we need the strength of the wind, which is the power of motivation — and above all, the certainty that we are sailing on the sea of life at peace with all human beings, our brothers and sisters.