Ask these questions now and prepare for a satisfying 365 days … to reflect on next December!
I’m writing during that awkward week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. It’s awkward because Christmas is past for many of us.* Yet there’s an underlying sense that the holidays aren’t over until New Year’s Day.
The New Year is coming, but it’s easy to focus on the end of this one. Within a very few days, the holiday treats will be reduced to crumbs – and pounds on a scale. The Christmas lights and decorations will come down. We will be in the cold dark days of January.
If you’re looking at the ending of the year, you may have a sense of sadness as the last of the holiday things are put away. It’s easy to miss the warmth and cheer of the holiday lights everywhere. The extra sense of friendliness is gone now that strangers are no longer wishing each other a merry Christmas.
On the other hand, there’s a sense of relief that the holidays are over. The busyness. The pressure. Extra people to entertain and to go and see. The budget squeaking a little too loudly. Thank goodness life is getting back to normal.
But what about now? A break affords a slightly different outlook on things, even if temporary. We can go back to life as usual, or we can take advantage of the break and see new possibilities.
If you are hungry to add satisfaction and a greater sense of purpose, use these questions to take a fresh look at your life:
- What is it I truly value at this point in my life? Do I need to make adjustments to make proper space for these values?
- What new things do I want in my life? How do I go about making that happen? What steps can I implement right now?
- What things do I want to put out of my life? What can I change about those situations? What are the unintended consequences of these changes. How can I reduce negative impact, if any?
- What have I been putting off? A difficult conversation? Taking the time to sort out a plan for healthier, cleaner food? Reading those books I bought?
- Am I pursuing my health habits as well as I could right now?
- Am I taking my spiritual journey as seriously as I truly desire?
- Am I leaving enough margin in my life? Do I fill my time with junk activities that crowd out the things that light me up inside?
- Am I treating myself like crap by letting my negative voice run me down?
- Do I have purpose in my life – something that makes me want to get out of bed in the morning? If not, how can I change that, while still honoring the values and commitments I have in my life today?
You’ve probably been thinking these things already. I encourage you to find a place away from distractions and commit them to paper. There’s something powerful about physically writing what we want to see happen in our lives. I’m sure you can think of other questions that you would want to reflect on. Feel free to share them in a comment.
The question to answer here, should you choose to:
- Does my life today reflect my purpose, values, and passion? If not, why not? Why put it off any longer?
P.S. Some of you may be in transition. I know people who are grieving through this first Christmas without a loved one. Passion is still within, but it’s buried under grief. Some are dealing with marital difficulties, and for some, it ended in a way they didn’t desire. Passion isn’t going to feel like joy and excitement and guilt has no place here. Transitioning into a new normal is rarely smooth and easy.
If that’s where you find yourself, it’s ok. You’re doing the hard work of crafting a new sense of purpose and direction in life and it takes time. Those questions may be of use as you carve out a new space for yourself, when you’re ready.
* For those celebrating the 12 days of Christmas, I’d love to hear what that entails.