December has arrived and the clock may pass by too fast without us noticing until the streets get noisier with prosperous fireworks and our social media becomes full of posts of year-in-highlight then a new year begins.
It’s important to gain consciousness over how we spent our time in the past year, so we can be more intentional in how we want to grow. Reviewing the prior year and setting goals for the succeeding months is beneficial for us to unwind, relax, reflect, and motivate ourselves. Annual evaluation of our activities along with goal setting also helps us to become more accountable to the expectations we set for ourselves as well as understanding of our weaknesses and strengths.
Here are some exciting activities that you can do during your holiday break:
Do a year-in-review
There are several ways to reverse time to help you refresh memories from the past twelve months. You can:
- Read or examine your journals, diaries, or even past social media posts, old conversations, old photographs and videos. Looking back at these former excerpts, you get a glimpse of your mindset changing. You see how you evolve and change with the help of the community and environment around you. It is also grounding to remind yourself of how far you’ve come into your journey.
- Analyse or rate your purchases. Financial status can either be definitive of our enjoyment of life or it can be easily neglected. Through evaluating your pass receipts, you may see which amongst the items you bought remained good quality or which ones do you still like and enjoy. This evaluation can help us be more wise in our spending later on. It gives us a reminder of items that we still have a stock on, or brands we like or don’t like.
Ask your life these questions: What are the activities I enjoyed and I would like to do more of? What gave me energy and what drained my energy? Whose company do I enjoy the most? Through this, you can easily deduce if you must distance certain influences, people, places, work in your life.
Deep cleanse your space
Whether it be physical space, mental space, and emotional space, it is important to cleanse the vessels which hone the lives within us.
For your physical space, sit in the center of your room or your house for ten minutes and look around. It is best to do this by yourself thus no one else influences your decisions. Your pet, your kid, or your sibling may distract you from the task at hand but if you are certain that you can work with them around or if they offer to help you, you can also do it together. This can be a simple decluttering such as throwing out materials that no longer serve a purpose or it can end up with rearrangements of furniture. To accomplish this, can ask these sample questions:
- Do I still use this item? Can I still use this item?
- How do I feel about my bed facing the closet? (etc.)
- What images would I like to see in the morning to feel energised?
- Would seeing workout equipment beside my bed motivate me to exercise before I sleep?
- How do I feel about having an orange bedsheet?
- What colours would I like to see more of in my room or house?
- Should I change the house’s theme?
Our physical space is the easiest channel to manipulate because we can use our sensory capabilities to design it. Unlike our thoughts and emotions which we can only recognize when we take a step back from our situation or someone points it out to us, our environment is something and somewhere we can easily see independently. The way it is designed can alleviate our stress, anxiety, or sadness even for a little while.
Imagine coming home from work a little agitated with the load you need to do and your bed is full of unfolded clothes to the point where you don’t know which is unwashed or washed. Wouldn’t it feel lighter to take a rest somewhere you feel safe and comfortable?
Aside from our physical space, we can also deep cleanse our bodies. Your body is a home you carry with you everywhere, afterall. You can remove or replace your jewelry, do a hair mask, face mask, wax your armpits, or pluck your brows if you want to.
Do a health and energy check-up
Your body is continuously communicating with you through your health. Every time you get sick, it’s your body responding to an unknown element or substance entering your system. When your stomach would get upset, it is an indicator of how you ate something you’re intolerant of or something bad. You don’t need to wait for an extreme before you take action. You can meditate, give yourself a massage, drink herbal tea or herbal broths, gargle. You can also schedule an annual check up with a physician.
Catch up with your family or talk to some friends. The best way to learn more about how you can love yourself or take care of yourself better is by asking the people who already love you and take care of you.
You can also watch some of your favorite or comfort series, find a book that you loved as a kid and read it again, or buy a book which you think you will never pick up per usual.
You can also simply sleep or spend time on your bed during the holiday break. You worked hard through the year, you deserve it.
Write your new year’s mantra and resolution
The key towards having a strong new year’s resolution or mantra is by focusing on a small scale. Don’t think too far ahead of the specifics of what you must do. Take one word that you think you can easily remind yourself and use that as that mantra for the whole year; it can be ‘discipline‘, ‘gratitude’, or ‘healing’ because that is something you can easily engrave into your subconscious.
You can focus on your one-word mantra but you can also expand it into more sets. You can have simple three milestones you want to achieve:
- Something you will do for yourself (therapy, thinking more positively, eating healthier)
- Something you will do for the people you love learning to cook for your family)
- Something you will do for the earth (buying second-hand things, buying from sustainable brands, reusing plastic bags, thrifting and thrift-flipping)
You can also break it into seven aspects:
- Mental (solving puzzles)
- Emotional (practicing communicating instead of complaining)
- Spiritual (practicing meditation)
- Physical (attending 30-minute dance class online)
- Financial (saving 20% of salary)
- Social (talking to more workmates)
- Work (reaching more sales)
Another relevant factor to consider about creating new goals is creating a list of actions that can be sought out in routines which are feasible and easily accessible. For example, do not list down “I will walk 10,000 steps every morning” when you are busy in the morning or you know that you are not a morning person. Design your goals in a way that it fits into something you enjoy, something realistic, something that would fit into your schedule. If your day off is during Wednesday and Thursday, set your cleaning day on Wednesday when you actually have time for it.
You have reached the end of the article. I hope you got inspired to refresh yourself before another year comes. May you enjoy your holiday season and I hope you used these tips to its maximum benefit.
Jullia Rianne Bacay is a researcher. She released her first book in 2021 entitled ‘When The Murky Seaweed Makes Contact With Your Feet’.