Dec 30, 2019
Welcome to episode 18.
This is going to be another shorter than usual episode as I am taking a rest from work and study over the festive season and preparing for a New Year’s Eve party with friends. I hope you have taken a well-earned break this Christmas holiday, too!
So often, at this time of year, we turn our attention to New Year’s Resolutions, frequently setting ourselves up to fail before the first month of the year has even concluded. Don’t get me wrong - setting goals can be very useful and there are a number of great ways to do that, but why put yourself under the additional pressure of doing this for the start of a new year? You can set yourself goals whenever you want.
This year, instead, I am inviting you to reflect. Firstly, reflect on the good parts of 2019. We all face challenges and frustrations over time, and often we tend to focus on and remember the negatives far more easily than the positives, so take a few minutes to properly reflect on everything that has gone well for you this year. Things you have achieved, challenges you have overcome, joyful events that have happened to you and the people you love. Write them down.
Take a moment to savour those positive memories. Savouring is a powerful positive psychology tool to help improve our wellbeing! Then, for each of your achievements and for each challenge you have overcome, reflect on what strengths you used to help you. For example, I finished writing my book - For Flourishing’s Sake, which will be out in June 2020 (I may have mentioned this once or twice!) - while also completing my Master's in Applied Positive Psychology. To do that, I used my strengths of perseverance, courage, love of learning, creativity and a hefty dose of humour!
Make a note of the strengths that helped you in 2019. Over the course of 2020, I will invite you to explore and work with them some more. If any of your positive memories from 2019 include something someone else did for you, now is an ideal opportunity to practise your strength of gratitude and thank them. For more information on character strengths, you can visit the VIA Institute at www.viacharacter.org.
Doing this simple reflective activity should help you see 2019 out and 2020 in with a sense of gratitude and accomplishment, feeling positive about the year you are leaving behind and the strengths you possess that will help you tackle whatever 2020 throws at you. Let me know how this goes for you.
All that’s left for me to say is, whatever you do, if anything, to celebrate the beginning of a new year, I hope you have a wonderful time. And, as always, until we speak again, For Flourishing’s Sake, have a great week. Happy New Year - I’ll be back on Monday 6th January!