New Year’s Eve is a time of …

The last day of 2018 is—you regular readers guessed it—a time for reflection. It’s time to find some silence and ponder where you’ve been in the old year and where you want to go in the new one. This could be the most important thing you do.

Where do you start? Well, that’s up to you. Did you write goals and resolutions for 2018 before it started a year ago? If you did, that’s a good starting place. Did you meet those goals?  Did you keep the resolutions? If not, why not?

How did you do with the goals you set last year?

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But, if you didn’t have set goals for 2018, you can still reflect on where you’ve come and where you want to go. Let’s do it regarding self-

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improvement. These are the hard ones because they’re so subjective. Some can be measured but most cannot.

If for example you and millions of others resolved to lose weight last year, that can be measured. How much weight and/or how many inches did you lose? What did you do?  Did you reach your goal or do you need to renew your resolve to lose weight this year, starting from a new point?  What changes do you need to make to accomplish this new goal?

But let’s say your goal was to improve your self-esteem, how do you measure that? Ask yourself some questions:

  • Is it easier for you to meet new people and carry on a conversation with someone you don’t know?
  • Have you taken on projects that you had shunned before because you thought you weren’t “good enough?
  • Have you done things for yourself because you realize that you “deserve it.”
  • Is it easier for you to look people in the eye or to be the first one to speak?
  • When you talk about yourself or to yourself is your talk more positive than it used to be?
  • Do you feel better about yourself than you did at the beginning of the year?
  • Can you accept a compliment graciously?
  • How do you feel about yourself now as compared to this time last year?
  • Keep going with these kinds of questions until you have some idea of your progress.

Some other Self-Improvement goals could be:

Being able to think more positively in general. Get your glass up to at least the half-full mark.

Living in the moment. Are you aware of what’s happening around you and within you right now?

Taking care of your physical self: eating healthier, exercising, getting enough sleep?

Enjoying healthy relationships?  How are your relationships with friends and significant others? If married, how is your relationship with your spouse? Are you in a toxic relationship that you need to resolve?

Did you have fun last year? What did you enjoy the most?

Financially, do you feel secure? If not, what can you do about it? There are a lot of options. Pick one.

Each of us is different, and each of us will have various areas of development to explore. These are just a few ideas to get you started. You don’t have to spend hours on this, but DO give your life direction some serious thought.

Don’t let the busyness of business keep you from taking care of who you are as a human being.

If  all of that sounds too tedious,  then ask yourself this one question: “Am I happy?” What does being happy look like to you? What would it take to make you happy or happier?

I could get trite and say “Let’s put the happiness back in “Happy New Year, ” but I would never do a thing like that.

Oh, I just did.

Happy New Year!

About the Author

Irene Conlan has a master’s degree in nursing. She taught nursing at Arizona State University, served as Director of Nursing Administration at St. Luke’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix and served as Assistant Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services for the Division of Health Care Facilities and Emergency Medical Services.  Now retired, she is an avid blogger and manages The Self Improvement Blog and hosts The Self Improvement Radio Show on VoiceAmerica. Irene lives in Fountain Hills, AZ  and has two sons and four grandsons. ©December 2015

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