What is something that you did this year that you will remember for the rest of your life? What was something that you accomplished this year that you are proud of? What was the most challenging part of the year for you?
Do these questions look familiar? Typically, these are questions and topics that we might reflect on at the conclusion of a calendar or school year, job, or during a transition period. If someone asked me in the moment how I could reflect on this year, my first response might have been that I was “surviving.” When I actually think back to my answers to these questions though, I think about how this year has been one of challenges, and also how this year has helped with growth, building resiliency, and identifying values. While there were many things this year, that were outside of my control (including visiting family/friends), I found that I could choose to find other ways to think about the situations and to work around some of the problems at hand. Living through this year has helped me to adapt to adverse conditions and identify new ways to handle conflict and obstacles.
Additionally, this year has caused me to reflect on what values are important to me, which at times can get lost in the mundane day-to-day of life. Values are a person’s judgment about what is important in life and also what drives our behaviors and actions. Sometimes these are realized once we are unable to access the things that we deem as important, and their importance can become more apparent when they are truly missed. During these times we may need to make modifications to our actions so that we can connect with our values. This year has helped me to identify and understand the importance of my values so that I may align my behaviors with the things that are important. I encourage each of you to take stock of your values, identify what is important, and begin to integrate these things into your lives.