There is Still Time to Make the Most of 2018

The last day of 2018 is upon us and many collectively question “where did the year go?” Before replacing the old calendar on the wall, take a few minutes to savor some of the moments in 2018 and honor your growth in a productive and meaningful way.  Ask these three questions:

What are you most proud of?  Self-efficacy is an individual’s belief in his or her capacity to execute behaviors necessary to produce specific outcomes:  it is knowing what you are good at and the skills you can call your own. 

If you can identify some personal behavior or accomplishment in the last year that made you feel proud, you can draw on this experience as you move forward in the new year.  What strengths and talents did you utilize? 

By savoring this proud moment, you build confidence and motivation to exert control over behavior toward future challenges or goals.

What did you learn about yourself?  Self-awareness is the ability to recognize thoughts and understand how thoughts impact feelings, physiology and behaviors.  Becoming aware of ourselves is often associated with maturity; and the ability to use this understanding allows us to regulate our impulses and behaviors. 

Because our brains like habits, it is inevitable that we develop patterns in our thinking.  If you have recognized something favorable about yourself and want to experience more of it, identify the thought patterns that fuel that feeling or behavior and reinforce those beliefs frequently.  If you have identified something you want to change, identify the mindset that keep us stuck and construct a more productive belief that regulates impulses and encourages the desired change. 

This self-regulation requires purposeful effort but is an effective way to retrain your brain and hardwire desired changes to our ways of thinking and being.

What connections elevated you?  Relationships are integral to well-being and resilience. The late, great Christopher Peterson coined the phrase “other people matter” which is often identified as the bottom line in Positive Psychology.

All relationships are not created equal.  Can you identify your low- and high-quality connections?  What qualities do you admire in others?  What attributes inspire positive relationships?  Trust, mutual respect, attunement, vulnerability, validation, support and play are often recognized as important building blocks in healthy connections. 

It is important that you create and use a criterion for quality connections and purposely surround yourself with a tribe of people who elevate you.

The passage of time seems to be swifter as the years progress.  Take this moment to pause, reflect and squeeze the best from 2018 to inform an even better life in the new year.