As a rather turbulent year comes to a close, Cait Flanders takes a moment to reflect on all she’s achieved this year, and why it’s important for us all to acknowledge how far we’ve come

Much of what I’ve written over the last few years has been about making intentional decisions to live life in a way that feels right for you. That includes walking away from expectations, changing stories you’ve been told or tell yourself, and finding new ways to live, learn and grow.

This year, of course, the pandemic changed everything in an instant. Instead of carving out our own new paths in 2020, we were all put on a very similar one: where we were asked to stay home and stay safe. This wasn’t the year any of us intentionally decided we wanted to experience. But that doesn’t mean we can’t end it that way.

After a year where we were essentially forced to opt-out of our existing lives as we knew them, it feels important to reflect on how we have navigated our way through. To reflect on how we stayed motivated and got to where we are today, and to acknowledge how far we’ve come, and who we might have become, in the process.

Take some time to reflect

I’ve done a lot of self-reflection throughout the year, but have found myself feeling a bit lost this season - uncertain of what I want and what to do with myself some days. If you’re feeling the same, I have pieced together these questions to help gently guide you back to yourself, and determine what feels true for you today.

My hope is that you will take some time to reflect in whatever way feels most supportive for you (for example, writing in a journal, using them on a call with a friend) and can then finish the year feeling a little lighter.

While 2020 might not have been the year you planned for, you’re stronger than you may realise and you made it through. Here’s how:

  1. What did slowing down this year look/feel like for you? In what ways did you struggle? In what ways did you thrive?
  2. At what point(s) did you feel lost/uncertain about how to move forward this year? What were the main issues/situations that came up for you?
  3. How did you navigate your way through and get to where you are today? What examples point to how adaptable/resilient you really are?
  4. What clarity have you found about what does/doesn’t work for you? Which boundaries have become easier to see and easier to communicate?
  5. Who do you feel most like yourself with, when you’re together/in conversation? Also, what have you learned about your preferred way(s) to communicate?
  6. What are some ways you’ve experienced change and/or growth within yourself? In other words, how do you feel different/changed for the better?
  7. How can you celebrate getting to the end of the year? What would feel good/supportive for you?

And a bonus question, as you begin to think about 2021: What are you feeling curious about right now? How might you explore it in the New Year?

Cait Flanders is the author of Adventures in Opting Out: A Field Guide to Leading an Intentional Life (Trigger Publishing, £12.99) available now.

Read her article, ‘Four steps to living an intentional life’ on Therapy Directory.