Photo Credit: John Granen
At the start of a new year, everyone is buzzing about intentions and resolutions. There’s one other element, less talked about, that’s nonetheless crucial to creative intentions and making our resolutions real: reflection. Without making the time to step back and reflect, it’s impossible to see what we need to add to our lives, or how we need to change.
In the New Year, make the time out of your normal life to reflect and recharge before diving back into the fray.
I say make the time, not take the time, because reflection requires a conscious effort to step back and survey the landscape of one’s life.
Sometimes, we don’t realize how burned out we are. We become blind to how much our exhaustion and repeating thoughts affect our functioning. The extent of our exhaustion remains invisible until we step away from it all for a few days, or even just a few hours.
When someone says the words “reflect and recharge,” a few images come to mind— spa treatments, meditation, yoga, and long stretches of empty beach. However, spa treatments and vacations aren’t in the budget for most of us. Yoga and meditation practices don’t appeal to everybody. And that’s ok; your reflective moment might look nothing like these traditionally restorative activities.
To create a time and space apart, the most important element is to choose an activity that breaks the routine of your daily life. If you’re up for a completely new adventure, something you’ve never done before, that’s great. If not, choose something you know that you already enjoy doing, like hiking or taking day trips, for example. Just make sure that there’s some element of newness to the outing. If you’re hiking, choose a new trail. If you’re going on a day trip, find a new destination.
In stimulating our brain in new ways, seeing new places, meeting new people, experiencing new events, it’s suddenly possible to break out of patterned thinking. We achieve a wonderful clarity, and arrive at realizations about how we’re living, what we value, and who we are. As we immerse ourselves fully in a new activity or environment, the experience does double duty, giving us pleasure in the moment and perspective into the rest of our lives.
Make a little time for yourself, and devote it to reflection. Even little time away can have a big payoff in the end.
Learn more about Rosanna Bowles