Updated: Jan 8
“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That's the only thing you should be trying to control.”
- Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love
If that’s not a great reminder after a challenging year I don’t know what is! It’s safe to say that most of us were happy to bid 2020 farewell. But now that 2020 and a lot of the junk that came with it is in the rearview mirror, it is time to turn our attention to the New Year and focus on what we can do to make it positively memorable!
New Year’s resolutions have never been my thing. They tend to be fleeting and fade into the background quickly. I am, however, a big fan of annual self-reflection and choosing something to focus on to better myself throughout the year. Acting on self-reflection is more than a promise to lose a few pounds or achieve a goal. It is an all-encompassing shift that allows me to become better in every area of life.
As caregivers and professionals who serve older adults, the New Year offers us an incredible opportunity to create a shift in mind-set, not only for ourselves, but for those we care for. When we are negative, run down, or focusing on all that is going wrong, it is almost a 100% certainty that those around us will follow suit.
What does the process of self-reflection look like? In a nutshell, it’s simply checking in with yourself to celebrate a life well lived and identify areas where you are falling short. Personally, I self-reflect in the following areas: Mind, Body, Soul, Work, Play and Love. Through the process of reflection, it’s easy to identify where I want to see improvement in my life (and where I am doing well!).
If you’d like to dig a little deeper on this topic and get a free Self-Reflection worksheet, check out episode 37 of the Sage Aging podcast. Find it at PolkElderCare.com in the podcast tab. While you’re there, you’ll also want to take a look at the 2021 issue of Polk ElderCare Guide. Pick up the printed guide in English and Spanish at ElderPoint Services and other locations throughout Polk County.
Liz Craven is the Publisher of Polk ElderCare Senior Resource Guide and host of the Sage Aging podcast, a weekly conversation with aging care professionals and caregivers. Connect with Liz on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.