In January there were many posts and emails about the word of the year and we were asked what word we are going to choose to sum up what we wanted 2023 to represent for us. That is a lot of pressure to choose one word to summarise the year before it's even happened! I prefer to think about how I want to feel this year and I invite you to explore this with me.
How do you want to feel in 2023 and how can you improve your personal wellbeing?
Before you answer that it's helpful to reflect on the past year and what worked and didn't work for you. This way you can see what you want to focus on for the year ahead and leave behind those things that didn’t serve you.
Why it’s powerful to reflect on the past year
It may seem counter productive to be thinking about last year – it’s been and gone and is in the past so why worry about it now? We are often told that it isn’t helpful t look back and think about the past.
In this context I disagree! We can learn a lot from looking back and reflecting on what has happened before, because when we know where we have come from, we can see better where we want to go.
"You can't really know where you are going until you know where you have been"
What I mean by that is - when we reflect on what has happened before, we can see what actions we took (or didn't) and if they helped us reach our goals, and so we can course correct.
Perhaps you spent time doing something in 2022 and it took a lot of time and energy but didn’t advance you towards your goals. If you can pause, take a step back and reflect on the situation, you might see if this time was well spent or not. The you can decide if you want to carry on doing it in the future.
Questions to help you reflect on 2022
I’m sharing some questions here that you can use to help you reflect on 2022 and journal your thoughts to,
I encourage you to find a quiet 10 minutes, grab a pen and notebook and actually write some thoughts down because when we put pen to paper, the thoughts that come out are more powerful as they have life!
When you think about the last year….
💡 What are you most proud of? What achievements did you have big or small that you feel proud of?
💡 What was missing from 2022 that you wish you had had more of?
💡 What was on your mind that you didn't get to do?
Now take a moment to look over what you wrote. What ideas or thoughts jump out for you?
Are there any recurring words or themes?
Circle or highlight any important words as they may be things that you want to feature (or not) in your 2023 plans. Maybe there was something that was forever on your to do list that you didn’t make time for but really wanted to. For example seeing friends, doing exercise, learning something to develop your work skills. I know for me it's exercise - I know it'll increase my energy and improve my mood but I made no space for it in 2022. Looking back I can see that the intention was there but I didn’t prioritise it or actively make space for it in my week like blocking out time in my diary. Make 2023 your year of wellbeing
Now let’s think about 2023 and how you want this year to feel Alongside this blog I’ve published a podcast episode where you can listen to these questions as well experience a visualisation meditation exercise.
This exercise will take you into a deep place of calm where you can access the feelings and visions you want to create for 2023. It’s a powerful meditation and can help you access your subconscious feelings.
Click here to access the podcast and the visualisation exercise.
Questions to explore to make 2023 a mindful, healthy year When you think about the year ahead, I invite you to consider:
⭐ What do you want to continue doing from last year that worked well for you?
(this could be making time to exercise, putting a reminder to close your laptop at a certain time at the end of the day, scheduling a walk, putting one evening aside to do something good for you)
⭐ What do you want to leave behind?
(this may involve leaving bad habits behind like scrolling your phone first thing in the morning, missing lunch and eating at 4pm…)
⭐ What do you want to invite in to 2023?
(this may capture the things that were on your mind in 2022 that you didn’t have time for)
⭐ How can you make wellbeing a focus in 2023?
Now look at your reflection questions and see if there if anything you highlighted that you haven’t included here and consider if you want to, and how you might be able to do that.
From all of this I encourage you to create 1-2 wellbeing goals that you want to maintain for 2023. They don’t have to be big or complicated.
The best way to make a goal happen is to make it small, realistic and easy.
So if your goal is around taking a break during the day (and not working through lunch), start with a 30 min break and schedule it into your calendar.
Have something in mind you want to do – keep the book by your desk, have lunch leftovers ready in the fridge, keep your trainers by the door for a walk.
Make it easy on yourself!
So how can we make 2023 the year we focus on wellbeing? By weaving it into every day!
Part 2 of the blog and the podcast is coming soon where I will be sharing some specific areas that you can focus on to improve your wellbeing in the coming year.