Reflecting Can Benefit Your New Year

December 22, 2018 Martha Lueck

Reflecting on the past year can put your experiences in a positive light and get you ready to take on the new year. Learn more on reflecting at HealthyPlace.

Now that the year is coming to an end, we will get a new year to make positive memories and learn many lessons. One way to start the year on a high note is to have a positive mindset about life in general. With depression, that can seem really difficult. But by reflecting on the year, you might be able to find some positive reasons to have hope and optimism. Read this article for tips on how to reflect for the new year.

Reflecting Does Not Have to Be Negative

The first and most important thing to know is that no matter how bad the year was, reflecting does not have to be negative. Sure, there might have been a lot of events and experiences that made you sad or angry. But chances are, there was at least one memory that made you laugh. Or maybe there was a memory that made you just a little happy or hopeful ("Create a Positivity Jar to Remember Good Times").

For me, I spent the majority of the year feeling bitter, angry, and jealous. I envied everyone more successful than I was. I felt as though I would never live up to my full potential, which only hindered my progress. I was ashamed of my thoughts and feelings. At first, reflecting on the year only intensified my shame. But about a month ago, I made a life-changing decision to participate in a program that would help me find hope for the future and motivation to keep going. In that program, the participants are encouraged to write and reframe our thoughts ("Reframing Thoughts: Change a Thought, Change Anxiety"). So for now, I am only writing about events that have happened during the last year. Having the program to reflect on gives me hope and excitement for the new year.

It Is Important to Only Focus on the Last Year

When we hear the word "reflection", it can be easy to let our minds go all the way to the distant past. It can be easy to think about traumas and tragedies from childhood. But for the purpose of starting the new year off right, looking back that far is not helpful. Try to focus your attention on the last year by doing these three things.

  1. Think about what happened in the last few months. By looking back on the last few months, you might be able to think of something positive that happened somewhat recently. If this does not work, try the next idea.
  2. Think about what happened in the last six months. If going back three or four months was not helpful, perhaps looking back to six months ago will trigger a positive memory. If this does not work, try the next suggestion.
  3. Try to answer the following questions: Did you make a new friend this year? How did it happen? What was the last thing that made you happy? What if the thing that made you happy can happen again?

To learn more about how to reflect for the new year, watch the video below.

APA Reference
Lueck, M. (2018, December 22). Reflecting Can Benefit Your New Year, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, March 30 from

Author: Martha Lueck

Find Martha on Facebook and Medium.

Leave a reply