“So This Is Christmas… And What Have You Done?”


“Another year over… And a new one just begun” ~ John Lennon

John Lennon summed it up so well. Christmas time is rooted in Christianity and tradition, but it also marks the end of a year and the start of a new one just around the corner. A perfect time to reflect on the previous year and look ahead to a vision of 2018.

I like the approach Eileen Chadnick takes in her Globe and Mail article, Take Time to Reflect on the Past Year – and Look Ahead to Your Goals for the New One, where she poses 12 questions on a theme related to the previous year and year ahead.

Using her approach as inspiration, I thought I would pose my own 6 question version below that we can apply to our own life (I asked my family for some thoughts and examples):

Another year over”

1) What word best describes the year for you?

  • Fulfilling
  • Eventful
  • Stressful
  • Thankful
  • Transitions (my word)

2) What were the best parts of the year?

  • Our puppy Ashley
  • Attending my grandson’s high school graduation (my mom’s)
  • Starting a new job
  • Moving to our favorite vacation destination
  • Playing family games
  • Suppertime conversations

3) What were the most challenging parts of the year?

  • Starting a new high school in a new city
  • Losing a best friend to cancer
  • Starting a new job
  • Realizing the fragility of life
  • Moving away from friends
  • Starting university
  • Retreading my career

“A new one just begun”

4) What is my one big goal for 2018?

Goal-setting is a huge topic but one common theme is making goals SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely. Our goals can be varied such as personal, professional, spiritual, social, or any combination thereof. Sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves when it comes to a new year and create too many goals or ones that are too vague.

I am going to put some real thought into this one…

5) What do I want my mantra to be for 2018 (one word, sentence, phrase or concept)?

  • I will not ‘should’ on myself today
  • Try new things
  • One day at a time
  • Tomorrow is a new day
  • It is okay to have a sad day
  • Be kind to me

I looked back on my phone to see what January 12017 looked like. I had left a picture of this excerpt for myself:

“Be Kind to Yourself – sometimes it’s easier to feel compassionate for another than for yourself. But true compassion doesn’t discriminate. The next time you’re having a difficult moment, see if you can offer yourself some kindness. You might be surprised at how much it helps – and helps you to feel kinder toward others.”

When I reflect upon the past year, I did try to practice more self-compassion. We moved from Alberta to British Columbia, and although it was a much anticipated, planned and desired move, it has still been a huge transition. When things have seemed hard, I have found it very helpful to be more kind and compassionate to myself, just as I would extend towards someone else.

This year, I think I will do the same and leave myself another ‘guiding mantra’ message on my phone. I think I already know what it will be… I urge you to do the same.

Next Sunday’s post will be a recap of the final pillar of the year of the Best You – “Be You”. Since it will be December 31st, I will share my mantra with you as well.

Happy Holidays to you and yours. Wishing you a peaceful holiday season with much gratitude for your support.


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