Reflecting at the close of the year
Q: How are you going to say goodbye to 2023?
Disco Dialogues is a newsletter and interview series where Kinnari and Mitali engage in deliberate dialogue aimed to spark inner growth. Our posts start with a question to encourage reflection on topics ranging from creativity, courage and curiosity to self-care and relationships. The hope is that by sharing the dialogues that we have with ourselves and with each other, we can start meaningful conversations within our community.
A couple of weeks ago I spent some time reflecting on my year. I started the year without any goals having decided to focus on affirmations instead. But as 2023 was drawing to a close, I looked back on my 2022 goals and found that they were still relevant to the work that I had done this year. It felt good to take stock of the year - even though it was based on my 2022 goals - and acknowledge the progress I had made in my relationships, my health and my work.
Here are some tools to help you if you decide to reflect on your year.
Wheel of Life - This is a simple exercise that helps you take stock of where you are in life today and where you would like to be. It's a good starting point to bring awareness to the different areas of your life and to note where you might want to make changes in the new year.
Progress Temperature Check - This is a quick exercise to help you realize the progress that you are making in small and big areas of your life. It uses time as a way to remind you of the accomplishments you have made and to appreciate how far you have come.
This year taught me a lot about myself and through my habits and routines I was able to bring about meaningful change. Disco Dialogues continues to be a source of pride. I am thankful for having a compassionate writing partner in Kinnari who despite becoming a mom to a newborn this year continued to push us to put out thoughtful pieces this year. Thanks to all our readers for being with us on our creative journey - it's rewarding to know that our words resonate with you. Wishing all of you a happy and healthy new year and hope 2024 brings joy and peace into your lives.
We are just a couple days away from the end of 2023. Hope you've taken a few hours or moments to reflect on what the year has brought you. Whether we've barely survived or completely thrived we're here now saying goodbye and welcoming the upcoming year. Some cynics might say it's just another day, another year - why does it matter? It matters though. I love the symbolism of something ending and the chance at making space for something new. I enjoy taking time to do a look back and saying thanks, thinking about what I've learned, feeling pride in challenges I've faced. It's been a big year for me - with baby L's arrival and transitioning to being a mom to two kids. I've been dog tired for half of this year - both physically and mentally exhausted and yet I know this is just a passing phase. Years from now when I'm sitting home alone I know I will look back fondly at this time. Our brains are good at forgetting the bad and remembering the good or we wouldn't be having more babies and getting into new relationships. My friends tell me that this phase of parenting is the toughest physically but the more challenging emotional/mental stuff is yet to come. Life is already a wild ride and then we choose to jump on the parenting rollercoaster!
This is a short post to encourage a quick (or long) review of the year. If you are short on time and don’t want to sit down and review your entire year then I highly recommend the wheel of life exercise that Mitali has shared above. I did it a few years ago and was pleasantly surprised by how much better I was doing in some of the areas compared to what I had thought before doing the exercise. I also took a quick stab at the progress temperature check earlier this week - it was good for me because I tend to sometimes get into a mode of “I haven’t done anything productive in x time”. If you are like me, this will be a feel good exercise.
Most of you may not be able to find time to do this work before 2024 arrives. However, if you are still interested, I’ve found that the first few weeks of the new year can also be a good time to review the year that has gone by. Here are my two templates -
Short version - Open up a google doc or your journal and reflect upon/answer these:
Who am I most grateful for this year? Why? Can I let them know?
What experiences did I have this year? (helps to look through your calendar or iphotos/google photos and catch anything you’ve missed)
What are some memories that make me smile?
What are some memories that make me sad?
What were my top learnings or self-realizations this year?
Long version - Annual Life Review - You need several sessions to work on this or perhaps one very long stretch. Between the unending needs of an infant and the emotional highs and lows of a preschooler I haven’t had much time so I didn’t attempt this one this year. But if you have the time and the inclination it’s really cool to have a snapshot of the year and a solid plan for the next. It’s also fun to share these reflections with your partner and more importantly it creates a space for a dialogue on what you both want the new year to be about. Let us know if you tried out any of the exercises above.
Have a happy time celebrating and welcoming the new year whether you are at home or out. Thank you for being a loyal reader, and more importantly a reflective mirror in your own corner of the world. We are glad you are part of the Disco Dialogues community!