New Year’s Resolutions: Look Back First

RAFT Team, January 3, 2022

New Year's resolutions. Have you made any?

Whether or not you have, I would like to suggest a slightly different approach to starting 2022: take some time to reflect back on 2021.

Jeremie here. As I get older, and my son gets closer and closer to leaving home to start his own adventures out in the world, I have realized that I haven't spent enough time reflecting on and remembering what has happened.

Life gets so busy, so fast in our household, that it sometimes feels like there is barely any time to breathe.

The new year hits and school starts up for both Fionn (my son) and Ashlea (my wife), then swim club, not to mention school basketball which all piles on to my work with RAFT teaching workshops, mapping out projects, supporting the team, talking at conferences, recording podcasts, which starts to fill up the schedule before I can even fit in family time, couple time, friend time, and self-care activities.

The answer I have discovered is to breathe.

To set aside time during both work and my personal time to sit back and look back. Reflect on the year that has gone by. I do this both formally by using structured reflection practices (you can hear about these in our last podcast from 2021 here), and informally by taking time to intentionally scroll through the photos in my phone, write in my gratitude journal, or sit with my family and talk about some of our favorite times from the previous year.

Once I have taken time to think about the past, I find my outlook on the coming year has completely changed.

Priorities always shift when I bring the past into my plans for the future. I also find that plans I make for the future are more likely to become reality when I base them on a review of the recent past.

So, before you start making big plans for 2022, I invite you to take some time. Breathe. And think back on some of the success and challenges you faced in 2021. How can these 2021 successes and challenges impact the decisions you are starting to make for the beginning of 2022?

I would love to hear how taking time for looking back on 2021 and reflect before jumping into 2022 works for you. Leave a comment and let me know any New Year's resolutions are going!