2020: Reflecting on Your Values to Create a Powerful New Beginning
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The holiday season is upon us, and with that comes endless parties, food, drinks, and socializing. The holidays are filled with that warm, fuzzy feeling that we all love. Before we know it, we’ll be ringing in the new year. But this time, not only will we be starting a new year, we’ll also be ringing in a new decade.
For many of us, welcoming in a new year triggers feelings of anxiety as we naturally reflect on what we didn’t do in the previous year and our perceived lack of progress in accomplishing our goals. As we reflect on the past, it can be tempting to rely on a list of external achievements and validation in order to feel good about our progress. But the difficulty in this is that feelings of unworthiness and shame can take over, giving rise to a general sinking sentiment that I am not enough.
But what if feeling good about 2019 was less about the boxes that we checked off our lists, or the validation we received from others? Could it become more about the things that have made us feel good about ourselves on the inside? Could it be more about reflection rather than resolutions?
This year, the team at OurVoice invites you to look at the new year from a different angle. Let’s look at the start of this new decade as an opportunity to reflect on everything we have done in honor of ourselves. Are there any acts of self-love we are proud of? When have we acted in authenticity? In congruence with our deepest selves?
In the words of Soren Kierkegaard, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” Let’s all try and find 5 self-honoring accomplishments in 2019 that we are really proud of. They can be big or small, all that matters is that when you think about them, you are filled with that same warm fuzzy feeling that is usually only found near the spiked eggnog at holiday parties.
In order to properly appreciate your accomplishments this year, we encourage you to try our reflection exercise below.
Step 1: Write down 5 things you accomplished this year that you feel great about internally.
For example, maybe you quit a job that really wasn’t bringing you joy, or wasn’t aligned with your life purpose. It may not seem like an achievement based on typical societal standards, but it is if it helped bring you a deeper sense of peace or alignment! Alternatively, maybe you made some tough decisions about which friends you want to keep in your life, and which people you need to part ways with. Regardless of the external result, it was an achievement if it made you feel good internally.
Step 2: Take 5 minutes to reflect on each item and think through the underlying values they represent.
What makes you proud of each accomplishment? For example, if you finally quit a misaligned job, are you proud because you made a tough decision that will bring you more work-life balance? Perhaps the underlying values that action represents are balance or honesty. If you gave a speech at a close friend’s wedding, did it make you feel great because you conquered your fear of public speaking? Or maybe it was because you were there for your friends/family when they really needed you? Perhaps this represents the underlying values of courage or reliability. As you reflect, feel free to reference Brené Brown’s Dare to Lead values list.
Step 3: What values-based progress would you like to manifest in 2020?
As you think forward to the new year and decade ahead, are there certain values within that you would like to align with more closely through your external actions? Is there certain progress you’d like to make in loving yourself more deeply or standing for what you believe in? Again, these things can be big or small. It’s less about creating large deliverables that we eventually need to check off a list, and more about small acts of kindness towards ourselves and others — things that spark joy within.
We hope that by reflecting in this way you can see what you’ve truly done this year. It’s not about external accomplishments or the validation we get from others, but rather about focusing on why we’ve made certain progress and how it’s made us feel on the inside. Values are always more constant than external deliverables — values are our guiding light. We hope that reframing resolution setting through the lens of values can help each of us see how much progress we have truly made, and feel more confident and balanced about the great things that we can manifest in 2020. What better way to enter a new decade?