Ancient Romans named the month of January for Janus, their god of gates, doors and beginnings. Always pictured with two faces—one looking toward the future, the other back at the past—Janus is a fitting symbol for the turning of a new year.
As we step through the doorway from one year to the next, it’s natural to do as Janus does: look back and ahead. But this year, instead of just reflecting on the past year or making New Year’s resolutions, consider using this first part of the year to take stock of your life.
What do you value? What do you believe? What do you really need?
When we discover who we really are, we stop living on auto-pilot and start to live with intention, focus and purpose. Our choices become clearer. We begin to make active choices in our life, instead of making excuses or passively living with the status quo.
Here are a few questions to get you started. Have a journal or some way to record your thoughts. (Writing by hand keeps you in touch with your breath and your heart.)
• What is aching to be expressed?
• What needs healing?
• What unique gifts, talents and skills do you bring to the world? How are you using them (or not)?
• Who do you need to forgive? How about yourself?
• What beliefs are holding you back? What is getting in your way?
• Who or what do you need leave behind?
• What brings you the most joy?
Don’t ignore the physiological messages you may be receiving. You body can also give you cues as to what needs to change or what needs to be healed in your life. Here are additional thought starters with a focus on what your body may be telling you:
What is your body telling you? When someone yells at you, does your stomach tie up in knots? Do your shoulders stiffen when you’ve been too focused on fulfilling others’ needs and ignoring your own? Notice the messages your body is giving you.
Check in with your heart. The heart is the home of what is most alive in us. What does your heart have to say about your job? About how you spend your days? Does it need more play time? What, according to your heart, really matters?
Listen to your intuition, your “gut.” Your intuition speaks volumes, but often gets ignored. What is this voice saying now?
Acknowledge what is working. Be grateful for the gifts and the blessings that are in your life right now. Write them down. (enter findings from gratitude journal findings)
Embrace the truth. Now is the time to start being honest about who you really are. Encouraging those unlived parts of ourselves to emerge can provide an exhilarating sense of discovery and optimism for the New Year and beyond.
Now it’s your turn.
I would love to hear from you! What are some of your best secrets for self-reflection? Share you ideas below.
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Angela M. Joyner, PhD is the Founder of The Wonder Loft, a positive leadership coaching practice for women. Through her writing, teaching, and curating unique workshop experiences, Angela helps women discover their unique brilliance, have more confidence and flourish. Her mission is to nourish the minds and souls of women around the world. Learn more at http://www.angelamjoyner.com.