Well, we did it. We have managed to make it through one of the strangest and possibly most challenging years we have yet to face as a collective humanity. As we approach the final days of 2020, we are met with the opportunity to reflect and discern on how to best move forward into the New Year.
This can feel like a nostalgic time of year that brings awareness to what has worked well, while getting honest about what hasn’t worked out so well. By reflecting over the most important and basic areas of our lives, we can regain the clarity necessary to create a do-able action plan for the coming season.
We’re calling this exercise The End of Year Life-Audit.
This may seem like a big task, so we’ve broken down the Life-Audit into three basic categories: body, mind, and spirit. Let’s begin.
Fitness and health goals typically sit at the top of people’s New Year’s resolutions list. The first week of January infamously sees the steepest spike in gym memberships out of the entire year, yet within a few weeks those same people drop off from having lost their original momentum. This is an example of what happens when we do what we think we’re “supposed” to do, versus finding outlets of moving the body in a way most aligned with who we are as people. There is no one-size fits all solution to the health of the body.
In a culture that idolizes very specific body types, diets, superfoods, and fitness trends, it can feel hard to relate with mainstream perceptions of health. This is why the real work is in discovering what health means for our individual body. And then, honor our choice through a lens of support instead of comparison. Caring for our body from the inside out is an act of kindness to ourselves. It isn’t about pursuing perfection or maintaining ideals. Rather, it’s the ongoing pursuit of balance.
- How did I care for, and treat, my body with respect this year?
- How have I neglected or overlooked the well-being of my body?
- Are my eating habits nourishing me or depleting me?
- What’s the distance between how I want to physically feel versus how I realistically feel in my body today?
- What is one simple change I can commit to in support of my physical body?
The mind governs our mental and emotional happenings. It steers the way we experience the world, and how we process thoughts. In consideration of the pandemic and other happenings this year, mental and emotional health has felt unsteady for many. Our self-awareness and ability to maneuver through challenges relies on the fineness of the mind, and so it’s important to consider how we are engaging with the information available to us. There’s an excess of stimulation these days as we anticipate news headlines and adapt as everything switches online. Perhaps you or a loved one has been feeling mentally fatigued– it’s time to get curious about how our habits contribute to this.
- How much time do I spend behind the screen?
- When was the last time I learned a new skill or picked up a hobby?
- Are my most consistent activities helping me grow, or feel stuck?
- When was the last time I had a compelling conversation?
- What’s one way I can invite higher quality stimulation to my mind & life?
The category of spirit can seem abstract, but it’s simply speaking to the state of our joy and the depth of our love. Our spirit feels alive through laughter, through growing relationships, and in connecting with Mother Nature herself. These are experiential qualities that allow us to feel connected to something outside of ourselves. When spirit is active and felt within us we have access to our creativity, inner steadiness, and our own depth. These are the building blocks for feelings of wholeness and long-lasting success.
- Do my relationships (family, friends, community) feel satisfying?
- When was the last time I went into nature alone?
- What kinds of thoughts do I have first thing upon waking up, and before bed?
- What is one thing I wish I could do but feel nervous about?
- 3 things I am grateful for and why?
We hope The End of Year Life-Audit offers you some fresh perspective and motivation moving forward into the New Year. Remember, it’s never too late to turn things around or support yourself and those around you in a sustainable caring way.
By Melissa Aparicio, contributing author
We invite you to discover inspiring and effective ways to care for yourself and to serve others. Now more than ever, caring is what we all need most. Caring for our self. Caring for others around us. Life now demands caring, resilience and compassion like never before. So, become a Custodian of the Caring Movement and help create the world we need right now, the world we want for our future generations.