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Self-Reflection and Opportunities for Self-Improvement in the New Year

by | Dec 30, 2022 | Growth, Holidays, Self-Improvement

Forward, Together with western tidewater community services board

New year resolutions usually do not work. They typically consist of goals that we set without much introspection, and when we fail to meet up to our goals we feel let down. But, as we flip our calendars to a fresh new year, there is hope. Through deep self-reflection, we can identify and shift our mindset towards opportunities for self-improvement for not only the upcoming year but for our future. This may sound ‘easier said than done’ to you, and you may be wondering how to get started. The best way to get started is to engage in self-reflection questions.

Questions for Self-Reflection and Self-Improvement

Self-reflection questions are powerful tools that can help us work through and think about ourselves and our past year, but they can also help us pinpoint what we want to achieve or improve in the new year. Consider journaling your self-reflection questions. Journaling is a great tool for cultivating our inner thoughts, and it is also therapeutic. When we journal, we freely dump our minds onto paper. This can help with anxiety and stress, and studies show that it can help with depression. We also learn a lot about ourselves as we journal, especially when we later return to our writing and reflect on our prior thoughts. If you do not enjoy writing, consider recording self-reflection questions and responses on your phone or another device. This allows you to ponder your responses and reflect on changes and improvements that you may want to make. As you work through self-reflection questions, know that this process involves serious thought, or meditation, about your life, character, actions, and your motives.

Self-Reflection Questions (A year in review, and reflective questions for your future):

  1. Summarize your feelings about the past year. Be honest.
  2. What do you wish you had done differently in the year? Do not beat yourself up.
  3. What are you most proud of from the year? There is always something to be proud of!
  4. What is the biggest lesson you learned from the year?
  5. How did you grow or improve over the year?
  6. Where would you like to be in life this time next year? Ensure that this answer includes what is most important to you in your life.
  7. What would need to improve over the next year to change the outcome? Name five things that you can change in yourself to help you self-improve. Remember, you cannot change others.
  8. What obstacles are in the way that may stop you from reaching your self-improvement goals? Are these obstacles realistic?
  9. What small or large action steps will you take today, next week, and throughout the year to get beyond the obstacles (to ensure that you act and move forward)?
  10. List five ways that you will engage in mindful self-care that will help you prioritize yourself in the upcoming year (examples: set a budget, take care of your physical health, set boundaries, balance optimism with realism, manage daily stress, monitor and strengthen mental well-being, and build coping skills).
  11. Name a person, or several people, that you trust and can (and will) hold you accountable for the achievement of your action steps, including engagement in self-care.

Self-reflection can keep you motivated. It can boost your happiness, and it can help you build self-confidence. It can help you build resilience and cope with the challenges that you experience in life. Continue practicing self-reflection questions throughout the year.

A Community of Hope

The new year can come in as if it were a breath of fresh air, but it can also be a difficult time when we are struggling with stress or negative feelings. Please take care of yourself, engage in self-care, and make this a time of opportunistic self-reflection. Sometimes, we simply need help. If you’re feeling new depression or anxiety, or your mental health condition has worsened, please don’t hesitate to reach out for help. WTCSB is your single point of entry for access to mental health services, developmental disabilities support, and substance abuse services for Franklin and Suffolk and the counties of Isle of Wight and Southampton, but we’re more than that – we’re a community of hope and caring.

You can make an appointment online for same-day access or by calling 757-758-5106, or if you need to talk to someone right away, you can call our 24/7 crisis line at 757-925-2484.

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