Hoping that 2020 will be a better year? Pleased with the progress you have made in 2019 and want to keep it going? Either way, as this year comes to a close, it’s important to take a moment for some self-reflection to start things off on the right track.
As the year draws to a close and the holiday chaos begins to wind down, many people begin to look towards the new year as a time for self-improvement. Setting resolutions or intentions for the new year is a common manifestation of people’s desire for growth and change. However, you may decide this will be the year to go a bit deeper and do some serious self-reflection. Whether you are struggling with your mental health or feeling positive about where you are at in life, self-reflection is an incredibly useful tool in defining and achieving the future you want.
What is Self-Reflection?
Previous studies have shown that of the roughly 50,000 thoughts we have a day, more than half are negative and nearly 90% are repeated from the day before. Conscious introspection is a necessary part of positive change.
Essentially, self-reflection means being able to recognise your own thoughts, behaviours, emotions, and beliefs. It also includes the process of considering how these aspects of yourself impact your life currently, and your future aspirations.
Self-reflection is an important and often rewarding process for anyone who takes the time to do it. The power of self-reflection can help to keep you fulfilled, satisfied, and aware and active in identifying and achieving your goals.
The Link Between Self-Awareness and Mental Health
According to research, self-awareness is directly connected to emotional intelligence and success, both of which are also linked to good mental health. People who are self-aware and mentally healthy have several key characteristics, including:
- Proactive in seeking ways to improve and achieve their full potential
- Appropriate reactions to life’s challenges and successes
- Focus on life in the here and now
- Effective work habits that play on strengths and maximise benefits
By being keenly aware of your strengths and aspirations, you can develop realistic, achievable goals that can generate a positive sense of self and an optimistic outlook on life.
Where to Begin
Self-reflection works best when you are in a relaxing space with few interruptions. Find a place where you feel comfortable and secure, and can focus on yourself. Settle in with a snack or a cup of tea and relax your mind. Take a few deep, calming breaths, and then consider the following:
- Am I happy with where I am right now in my life?
- What have I done in the last 12 months that I am proud of?
- Did I use my time wisely over the past year?
- Am I staying true to who I am?
- Am I taking care of myself physically?
- Did I get up in the morning ready to start the day?
- Did I prioritise my relationships with others, whether they are family, romantic, work-related, etc.?
- Am I looking forward to 2020?
- What worries me most about the future?
- Is there something I need to change about myself?
- Do I actively desire change?
- Is there anything that is preventing me from achieving what I want?
- What are the things I am grateful for today?
- Is there anything in life that I am taking for granted?
- Do I let matters that are out of my control stress me out to the extent that they limit my capabilities?
You may find it helpful to write down the answers to these questions in a journal. Many find that the answers to these questions change over time, and how their responses evolve can also provide useful insight in the self-reflection process. Try to answer the questions in as much detail as possible; this will give you the best opportunity to analyse where you are at this moment, and how to move forward.
Also, remember that there are no right or wrong answers. The purpose of the questions is to form a clear starting point by which to understand yourself – your motivations, limitations, challenges, and aspirations.
Reflection at The Dawn
At the Dawn Wellness Centre and Rehab, self-reflection is a cornerstone of our work with clients. By helping you consciously and compassionately explore who you are, you will leave feeling more satisfied, fulfilled, and effective in your day-to-day life. If you are considering combining a New Year’s getaway with a journey of self-discovery, look no further than The Dawn. Call us today to learn how we can help you be your best self.