Karoline Barwinski

Don't just reflect, close the books on 2018

Karoline Barwinski
Don't just reflect, close the books on 2018

It has been a ritual of mine for years now to write in my journal and reflect on the year on Christmas eve. 

With my belly full from a beautiful Polish Christmas eve dinner and my parents' house quiet, I curl up with a blanket, hot cocoa or tea, and my journal. And I just free-write allowing all that comes up to spill out on the pages of my journal. It always feels so nourishing.

This year I'm plan on going beyond reflection. 

Inspired by this Good Life Project episode from 2017, I am going to create a ritual that helps me "close the books" on 2018.

I think it's a revolutionary way to not only reflect back on the year, but actually acknowledge what you've learned and reconcile all those lessons, so that you can let go.  There is no constructive value in continuing to dwell on what's happened.  It's happened, we've learned from it, we've grown and evolved, and now we're ready to create anew. 

So, choose a day at the end of this month to "close the books" on your 2018 and then take these steps: 

Create an end of year ritual

Create a ritual that tells your brain "we're closing the books on the past 12 months and opening a new book."  This can be writing the last journal entry in your journal and putting the journal away, writing your lessons on a piece of paper and then burning it (safely in a contained vessel!), visualizing a door closing on 2018 and a new one opening for 2019, or simply reciting the following quietly in a meditation "I have learned and integrated what I needed to this year.  I'm now letting go of the need to dwell in this space.  I'm focusing my energy on the new year."  Do whatever suits your personality.  The key is to make this a little ritual. 

Do a Good Life bucket check or 2018

Where are you in the following three Good Life areas:

Vitality - optimizing your state of mind and body

Connection - cultivating deep relationships

Contribution - meaningful contribution to the world.  

Rate each of these 0-10 based on how satisfied you are and how full each feels to you.

What needs your attention

Determine which buckets needs a little love - it could be all of them! Take a look at how you rated each bucket and which one you want to focus on filling at the beginning of the new year.

Set the intentions and path for next year

Once you figure out which bucket needs a little love, determine what you want to do each day to nourish that bucket.

Revisit your buckets and progress

Put your Good Life buckets and ratings on a piece of paper and hang it somewhere you look everyday.  This will serve as a reminder all year. It's so easy to forget our intentions, resolutions, and goals when we don’t revisit them and check in on our progress. We get busy, life gets in the way. Don’t let that happen to you.

I'm so excited curl up on my parent’s comfy couch on Christmas eve, perhaps after I tuck my son into bed, and see what comes up for me and which buckets need a little love in 2019. 

Will you do it with me?