No matter how this crazy year turned out for you, there were likely a number of positive things that happened in your life–fun experiences, meaningful conversations, new people, positive habits and mindsets and that you may overlook if you don’t capture and reflect on them.

Take some time for YOU to pause, reflect, and celebrate your life progress this year. Reserve some uninterrupted alone time to reflect and write. For me, that means writing with a black pen on paper. For you, it may mean typing on a computer…but whatever works best for you, you will want to capture your life progress somewhere outside of your head. These lists will likely not be completed in one sitting–you will find yourself adding to it once your mind starts to look for more to add.

  1. Make a list of the positive changes you made:
    How does your life look better this year versus the prior year? Are any of the reasons due to positive habits you began and kept up with? What positive changes have you made with your physical health regarding, eating, drinking exercising, sleeping? What about your schedule and the way you prioritize and spend your time? Are you thinking or acting in better ways because of a new mindset? Maybe you held certain beliefs around things in your life prior to this year, and you broke a mental or emotional paradigm? Capturing these changes in writing not only makes you feel like you have progressed in life, but it will help give you the confidence to know your future is not bound by any of your present negative habits and mindset.
  2. Make a list of personal celebrations: Austin, Texas business owner Patrick Rosenthal says, “We are good at celebrating with a comma, when we need to celebrate with a period.” This is so true! We have grown so accustomed to a fast-paced world that it is easy to celebrate in a blink while having our eyes focused on what’s next. could be a milestone or goal you reached, a big account you closed, a special dinner, a trip, good results from a lab test, or as simple as a meaningful conversation with a friend or significant other. How can you best capture these memories? For me, I go back through my journal and review my monthly highlights. These celebrations can sometimes be easily discovered by scrolling through photos on your phone.

After you have made my two lists–the list of positive changes and personal celebrations, share it with someone. I share my list with my husband (and he shares his with me). It’s a special tradition we’ve established the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Then, keep your lists in a place where you can always find them, so you can refer back to them throughout the next year.

As Socrates so wisely stated, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Take some time this season and not only examine your life, but capture your progress, and celebrate with a period.