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Transitioning through critical life moments, whether that be entering a new year, progressing into a new job, or moving into a new house, often provides us with the feelings of a fresh start, a time to clear out less helpful habits, and an eagerness to integrate behaviours more in touch with who we would like to be and what we would like to achieve.
Here we would like to offer a slightly different approach to 2023. Whether you would like to strive for achievement or take things slower, it will guide your own personal awareness moving forward. In doing so, the following three key points offer a way to connect, find meaning, and embrace past experiences, the lessons learned from the highs, the lows, and the moments in between.
We are accustomed to reviewing our performance in sport, reviewing the technical and tactical aspects of our game. However, we are less familiar with reviewing our own personal achievements, personal characteristics, and personal development.
The initial etchings on paper can be the hardest part of the whole review process. Start by considering what went well? What were you proud of? Then build from here, what could you have improved? What was one thing you took away that you didn’t know before? How did the experience make you feel? And finally, what one golden nugget would you share with a friend if they were about to embark on something similar?
In beginning with this reflection, you might find you have reflections on the good, the bad, and the I’m-not-quite-sure-of-this-yet. Capturing these on paper, not only helps us to remember, but the act of writing or typing itself gives us longer to think and consider what else we can take away.
Self-compassion, which refers to relating in a positive, accepting, and understanding of our experiences, is a key component in respecting what we have been through. The power of self-compassion is beginning to receive considerable attention in the world of sport and performance psychology. Fostering a self-compassionate frame of mind has been suggested to not only help athletes deal with negative or stressful events but to also provide a psychological edge to enhance and maintain high levels of well-being and athletic potential. To follow suit, when considering your reflections on the last 12 months, consider these key pointers:
How are you understanding and patient towards aspects of your year that you have not been able to yet reach?
When things haven’t gone to plan, how do you recognise that there are others experiencing similar situations as well?
When something has happened, how do you explore both the advantages and disadvantages, the risks and rewards, the gains and the losses?
Based upon your musings from steps one and two, what does this mean for you now? What can you tweak or modify as you move through 2023? Who will you bring with you this year? What will you let go of that is causing unhealthy habits or holding you back?
Enjoy the process of looking back and reviewing the last 12 months for the lessons and insight it will provide you.
“study the past, if you would define the future”