4 Questions To Help You Reflect on Your 2021
Every December, the urge to reflect starts picking up pace before a new chapter comes in January.
Whether it’s sparked by the numerous “best of” lists circulating the Internet or through conversions with friends about the chaos of the previous year, this season always serves as a perfect time to revisit the lessons we’ve gathered over the past 12 months.
But these past couple of years have felt different: Reflecting on the unpredictability of this year may be tough for you due to the traumatic and life-changing events that have peppered the year.
But research shows that making time to reflect, through means like journaling for example, can lead to a reduction of symptoms like depression and anxiety.
By taking the time to unpack and understand how you survived this year—and celebrate the progress you’ve made despite it all—you’re making room to move forward into the new year with strength.
For the final week of 2021, we’re continuing our tradition of reflecting together in episodes of Daily Shine, the daily podcast-meets-meditation available in the Shine app. Each day up until the new year, we'll dig into a new reflection question to help you look back on your year with compassion and care. Join us, and feel free to bring your journal to your listening sessions.
You can preview the reflection questions below. And as we make our way through this reflection week, we hope you remember: These questions don’t have to be saved for the end of a year.
Give yourself permission to revisit them any time you seek the space to honor your growth through a hearty reflection session.
What's a small win from this year that you're proud of?
Whether or not you realize it, you’ve gathered a lot of small wins this year. Maybe it’s the sheer act of surviving this year (a big win, if we’re being honest) or maybe it’s setting a boundary you needed.
Take time to think about the ways you’ve shown up for yourself both internally and externally—and celebrate those moments. Whatever your wins look like, know that they are all valid—and yours to honor in any way you see fit. Just be sure to celebrate in some way. You deserve that joy.
What did you learn you need this year?
Every year, there are a million lessons we learn about ourselves—but one of the most important is learning what we need and how we can provide it for ourselves.
This year forced us all to examine the physical, mental, and emotional things we need to feel whole and cared for. Take time to reflect on each of those that you’ve learned about yourself.
When you're done, try to examine the things you realized you needed but maybe learned from others. Then, use all these moments of reflection to understand how you can better show up for yourself next year.
How did your resilience carry you through this year?
Resilience looks different for everyone, especially this year. What has your resilience looked like this year—and how has it helped you stay strong?
This question can be tough, but it’s important to understand what resilience looks like for you so you can make space to honor that effort in the future.
Maybe it’s how your body has fought off sickness, or maybe it’s how you’ve allowed yourself more moments than ever to lean into rest. Whatever your resilience looks like, don't forget to thank yourself for cultivating it this year.
What's something you can let go of in 2021 to make room for new growth in 2022?
Letting go of things can be hard—but it's a sign of strength, not weakness, when we choose to release things in our way.
When we let go of things that don't serve us, we make room for things that can help us continue to grow in our mental and emotional health journey.
That extra energy can be focused on our needs, create space for growth, and ultimately help us continue putting our emotional and mental health first.
What makes you hopeful as we turn the page to a new year?
Looking towards the future can be daunting, but if you allow yourself to use your imagination, it can be a beautiful exercise in hope.
Whether it’s a post-COVID-19 world you're hopeful for or even simply waking up and seeing the sun, remember: Reflecting on things that bring you hope can help you cultivate it even more in your everyday life.
The future is unpredictable, but your ability to engage in the good despite the unknown is powerful. Savor that.
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