Reflecting at the end of the year and my one word theme for 2017

I like that the end of the year is a time to reflect. Both on what has happened, good and bad, the past year and on what our dreams and aspirations are for the year to come. At Christmas someone asked what our best bit of 2016 had been, we all went round the table and said. That was really nice. Whether big or small, it didn’t matter, it was just nice to reflect on a positive experience. Especially so in a year that, globally, hasn’t been the best.

So now, at the end of the year, I’m taking time to really think about myself this past year. How I’ve been, how I’ve felt on the inside and how I’ve acted on the outside. What do I want to change? How do I want to feel? I guess sometimes this kind of thinking seems selfish. But I don’t think we have any chance of changing the world unless we work from the inside out.

Reflecting at the end of the year

I’ve been feeling kind of down about things recently. When I think about my future and my plans I feel kind of at a loss. Like I don’t know what steps to take, where to go next, if I can even do it. This kind of thinking makes me feel this year hasn’t been great if this is how it’s ending.

But this morning I started writing about everything I’ve done this year in my journal. Putting it all down on paper made me realise there was a lot of great stuff.

Some of the best things for me this year were:

Completing Yoga With Adriene’s yoga camp in January. Doing this 30 days of yoga made me realise I could do it everyday. I’ve continued to do this and now…

Being accepted onto a Yoga Teacher Training course.

Meeting Tim Crouch, Simon McBurney and Phelim McDermott, (all theatre-making idols of mine). And having a chance to learn from them in different ways.

Planning and then going on a one month road trip in the USA with boyfriend and whilst there…

Handing in my notice at my job…oh, and I rode the Cyclone at Coney Island. Something I was super scared to do, and then totally proud of myself for doing. I was buzzing all day.

I rode the Cyclone at Coney Island.

Questions remain at the end of the year

That last point has been the catalyst for a lot of things (the work thing, not the Coney Island one). As the end of year approaches I’m still getting my head around who I am now and who I want to be. I guess this is what this next year is for.

Despite the yoga there’s still been a lot of stress, worry and unnecessary anxiety this year. Hopefully I can learn to deal with this, if not dispel it, this year. And I’m still asking whether I’m really connected to myself? This question I’ve returned to a few times, how do I follow my gut?

Having faith in 2017

I’ve identified that I often shy away from following through with big ideas, dreams, projects I have. Simply because I let a fear of not knowing how to do them get in the way. As I wrote in my journal this morning

“No more”

There’s an element of faith and confidence in myself that’s missing. I often feel like I’m floundering; I have all these dreams, but I don’t know how to get to them. How to make them into goals I can achieve, step by step. When I talk to other people I feel confident in offering them practical advice on pursuing their dreams, but giving the same advice to myself feels so hard.

I’m fully aware that the life I was/am living didn’t make me happy. And that’s the question. I haven’t been sure if I’m happy, really happy with my life for a while. This doesn’t mean I’m particularly unhappy either, just somewhere in the middle.

The end of the year marks the beginning of something new

This is why the concept of a happiness project appeals to me. I’ve been planning away and will be starting my happiness project in January…as in tomorrow…!

There are lots of changes I want to make, to myself and the way I live life. That’s why I’m writing this blog, to make myself accountable for making changes. To chart and record them as I go.

 A 2017 new year’s resolution?

I don’t get on with how new year’s resolutions tend to be sold. It seems to be a way to get more people buying gym memberships and fitness products. They encourage an end of the year filled with self hatred, a mind set of berating yourself for what you’ve done wrong the past year. And I’m all for loving yourself.

But on the Happier podcast the idea of a one word theme for the year sparked my interest. Turns out this is a huge thing, with a whole website dedicated to sharing people’s one word themes.

To me one word is easy to remember, and I can check in with myself throughout the year to ask if I’m being mindful of the theme. So I’ve decided to do this. It took a long time to figure out my word.

Bold and balance; wholehearted; confidence; resolve; slow down; mindful; trust; focus; purpose; courage

Contenders for my one word theme for 2017.

Finally, I’ve settled on trust. This year I will trust that I can do it, trust what I’m putting out into the world will come back to me and trust that the decisions I’m making are the right ones. I will trust that at the end of the year I will have done things I’m scared of (like riding the Cyclone or something more serious) and it will have paid off. But, as I go through the year with my theme I will remember I can only do what I can do. Next year, at the end of the year, I will learn from how I have or haven’t lived in the spirit of trust and see what I can do the next year.

Now, all that remains is for me to wish you a very happy new year. Thank you for joining me at the start of my journey with this blog. If you want an easy way to be kept up to date with new posts I publish next year, just sign up for email alerts using the sign up box on the right.

How do you reflect at the end of the year? Do you have any new year’s resolutions or a one word theme? 

About ecarr

Ellen is a writer and theatre maker who has just taken the freelance plunge after too many years of 9-5 office life. She is a yoga teacher in training and passionate about pursuing your dreams.

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