Christmas and New Years are coming up fast, and we’re going to take a Christmas break here at Modern Love so that we can focus on plotting and planning for awesome things to come next year (and also so that we can drink lots of champagne, let’s be honest).
Hopefully you’ll be so busy spending time with your nearest and dearest that you won’t even miss us. We’ll be back after the New Year with more great stuff for you.
In the meantime, if you haven’t taken care of your Christmas shopping yet, check out our three popular resources on gifts:
- 70 Gift Ideas For Long Distance Relationship Couples
- 45 Great Gifts For Travelers They’ll Actually Use
- 20 Stocking Stuffers For Travelers That Cost Less Than $20
And, to make up for a month of radio silence, I’ve got some homework for you…
Now is an excellent time to start reflecting on this year and planning for the next. If you start thinking about these things now, you’re more likely to identify the important lessons that this year had to teach you and to set worthwhile and well-considered New Year’s goals and resolutions.
Being thoughtful in setting your goals (and taking some time before December 31st to think about how you might actually achieve them) makes it more likely that you’ll follow through and accomplish your goals next year. And before planning for the future it’s always wise to pause and consider the past.
If you don’t take time to consider where you’ve been, setting smart goals related to where you want to go becomes much harder. It also becomes harder to identify your progress and celebrate real achievements. The whole exercise can leave you feeling rather empty. So take some time to answer the questions about the year that’s just ending before you start thinking in detail about the year to come.
Looking Back: This Year In Review
- Pick three words to describe this past year
- What was the best thing that happened this year?
- What was the most challenging thing that happened this year?
- What were the two biggest areas of stress in your life this year?
- What were the two biggest sources of joy and refreshment in your life this year?
- What is one thing you and your partner “did well” in your relationship this year?
- What is one way you and your partner could have “done better” in your relationship this year?
- In what ways were you able to contribute something meaningful to others this year?
- What are two things you achieved this year that you’re proud of?
- What is one thing you would have liked to achieve this year, but didn’t?
- What are some ways you disappointed yourself this year?
- What books did you read or experiences did you have this year that helped you become a better version of yourself?
- What were five of your favorite moments this year?
- What are five things from this year that you’re grateful for?
- What are two things important lessons you learned/relearned this year?
Looking Forward: The Year To Come
- Pick three words you would like to describe next year
- Given what you experienced and learned this year, what are two things you could do (or do differently) to reduce stress and increase your own resilience?
- What is the one habit you would most like to stop this next year?
- What is the one habit you would most like to start next year?
- What are two ways “character strengths” you’d like to grow in next year? What specific steps could you take to develop these strengths?
- What is one thing you’d like to learn next year?
- What is one thing you’d like to do more of (or do better) to take care of your physical health?
- What is one thing you’d like to do more of (or do better) to strengthen your relationship with your partner?
- What is one way you could better support a friend(s) or be of service to your community?
- If you could only do one big thing next year, what would it be?
- And… your bonus 26th question: How will you keep yourself accountable and track your progress on these goals and aspirations?
Phew! If you’ve answered all of those questions then you’ve probably crystallized some important experiences and lessons that this year had to offer you, and outlined some hopes and dreams for next year.
Now, I hope you can kick back and enjoy the holiday season. And I hope you’re spending it surrounded by those you love most. For those of you in long distance relationships, I hope that your love long distance is, at least temporarily, love close by.
We’ll see you back here in January.
**Image credit: MoreAltitude on Redbubble