REFLECT & RESET 12.10.2018

It’s that time of the year where we all inadvertently start reflecting on the past year and what we can do different in 2019. During this time, we can lose sight of how this reflection process can be a positive impact for ourselves. It’s easy to get caught up on what we fell short on or every goal we wanted to accomplish in the new year. What can you do to help get all these thoughts in order? Practice mindfulness! If you are like me, and had no idea what mindfulness is, then you probably pictured some person meditating on top of a mountain or striking crazy yoga poses. Though that can be a part of it, it is defined by Webster's Dictionary as “the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one's thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis”.

What does that even mean? In short it means to be present-minded in our actions and being aware of how we are feeling. This can be a great tool as we come to the end of the year and begin to look at 2019. A lot of our initial reactions are to start to feel anxious about what goals we haven’t completed this year or what the next year holds (at least that’s how it goes for me). Get out of that mindset! Look at this time as a check-in, take time to reflect back on this past year and take it for what it is: a checkpoint. This is a great way to get back on track or reset past goals. Take time for yourself as you are getting ready for this next year. Here are few questions that we ask ourselves to help us get in the right mindset.

What were the most memorable moments of this past year?

Get out of the “meme” mindset of “everything is awful, time to throw away 2018 and get to 2019”. Focus on the moments that made you happy. Zone in on the positive, not the negative.

How did I grow as a person/athlete/professional/etc. this year?

Look back to who you were at the beginning of 2018 and acknowledge the progress you have made. Be mindful of what you accomplished throughout the year. Reflect on what worked, what didn’t, how you went about it, how you felt about it.

Where did we fall short?

There’s a difference between acknowledging where our shortcomings were in 2018 and getting lost in them. We bring them to light in order to be better than before. Any type of failure is not fun but it is an incredible learning opportunity.

What are we being mindful of?

After some self-reflection, what is it that you are more aware of?

If you are still feeling lost on where to begin with practicing mindfulness, here is a good starting point. Do something that you enjoy. If it is going on a walk then be present for the walk, don’t start thinking about work meetings happening later in the week or deadlines you’ve missed. Be present in your thoughts and take everything in around you, this will help ease your anxiety and stress as you are able to mentally center yourself. This can be done with working out, driving to your destination, jogging, reading, journaling, etc.

When setting new years goals, be mindful of goals that will make you a better person. Don’t get stuck on what everyone else is doing. Focus on lead measures and behaviors that will lead to your ultimate goal. Set goals for how you will get there. I will end this blog with a link to a TED Talk about Changing your Mindset by Dr. Alia Crum.