Let’s begin with some history. The idea of “New Year Resolutions” is thought to have originated 4,000 years ago in Ancient Babylon. The Babylonians were the first recorded group to celebrate the changing of the year and to make promises to their gods for how they would seek their favor in the new year. And while the role of “gods” in modern New Year Resolutions has shifted over the last few thousand years, the desire to reflect on the past year and distill some meaningful takeaways to bring with us into the next year remains.
As the year comes to a close, people will often ask one another – what are your intentions or goals or hopes for the next year? These questions look at what might be missing from the past year – a consistent exercise routine, a stable partnership, a consistent gardening practice – and encourage the reflector to think about what they want to add into their lives in the coming year to fulfill these needs/gaps.
While it is important to consider these questions, it is also important to make room for the answers that you uncover. Just as it is important to discover and identify what newness you would like to usher in during the upcoming year, it is also important to identify what is taking up space in your life and needs to be let go of.
Below are some reflective questions to help you explore what you might want to part ways with in 2023:
- Think back on the times when you felt the most overwhelmed this past year. What were the factors? Who were the players? What were the circumstances? Of these, what do you have control over and how can you part ways with in the new year?
- How do you talk to yourself and view yourself? Do you have thoughts about yourself that hold you back from achieving what you want? What perceptions of self can you part ways with in the new year?
- Consider your time. How do you feel about the way that you have spent your time this past year? What might be taking up too much of your time that you can part ways with in the new year?
Pausing and taking stock of your year is a meaningful practice that can allow you to appreciate your growth and acknowledge areas that might still be in need of attention and love. As you take stock this year, allow yourself to think about what you want to add in as well as what you can part ways with. Make room for all the newness and growth that is ahead.
Author: Rachel Levy, LLMSW
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*This blog was created with the help of Anton Babushkin
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