Look Back with Gratitude, but Look Ahead with Determination (New Year Musings)

By Piyushi Dhir

As 2019 dawns and we bid 2018 goodbye, social media is replete with people reminiscing about the year gone by. It made me wonder if it is another passing fad, but when I thought about it some more, I realized it doesn’t matter.

Fad or not, the idea to look back and recapitulate what happened helps you pause and check whether you are even heading in the right direction. As we run from home to office, from malls to social gatherings, from airports to vacations, that is all we do. Run, run, run. If ever one gets a moment to breathe, one’s phone pops out and we start scrolling.

Movement. Our lives are about constant movement.

And that is why, fad or not, I love what you are doing on social media right now.

You are taking a moment to look back and identify your moments of pride and satisfaction. You’re recognizing what you’d like to do more of next year and what the things you would do differently are. You are gauging what really matters to you and what, in retrospect, wasn’t as big a deal as it had seemed at the moment.

Do you need to declare the results of your self-introspection on a public platform? Maybe not. But if you are choosing to do so, you are committing yourself to your self-discoveries. By putting your feelings down in words, you are making them concrete. Whether it is thanking people who made an impact on your lives, or acknowledging that 2018 was kind to you or even thinking back about the 2 fantastic vacations you took during the year, you are beginning the new year on the right note- with gratitude!

Looking Back

If your social media confessions did not include that you did rather binge on junk food or that you didn’t make enough time for certain people in your life, that’s okay. What’s the point of regrets anyway? Look back with gratitude, but look ahead with determination. Change whatever you did not like about the year gone by in the weeks and months to come. New Year Resolutions are not just for January. They are for the entire year.

Those noble thoughts still manage to slip between the cracks by February? Here’s what I am doing to ensure that my resolutions stay with me every week of the year:

  • My husband and I took a vacation at the end of 2018, with the specific agenda to write down our personal and professional goals together
  • We made sure the goals were realistic, doable and with a timeline to it
  • We then broke those goals down into an action plan- specific things to do during the year that will lead us to each goal
  • We then further quartered down each goal to a January action plan, to get us started with gusto. At the end of each month, we will review how far we have reached and make the next month’s action plan
  • The goals for the year have gone up on charts on our bedroom wall, while the specific steps of action for the month are pinned to our fridge
  • We check our progress against each goal everyday and set new ‘mini- goals to help us achieve our bigger goals

I am inundated with to-do lists and action plans, but things are getting done!

We learnt this excellent method of goal-setting from our life coach, Kim. And I swear, if you have a positive frame of mind, it works! There’s no goal you can’t achieve, if you remove your biggest hurdle (your mindset) from the way and break down your target into small, doable steps.

Keep the gratitude flowing, keep the positivity charged and write! Write down what you want from 2019, why and how you can achieve it. Break that down into monthly and weekly goals. Detail it further, into daily goals. Make lists and put them up in places where you can see them. Pause, not just at the end of the year, but at the end of each week and month to look back with gratitude and ahead with determination.

And most importantly, keep your goals in front of your eyes where you can see them every day. Literally! Get a marker pen, chart paper and scotch tape. Think bathroom mirror, wardrobe door, bedside. Just make sure that the things that really matter to you don’t slip between the cracks.

Here’s to making 2019 a year of getting things done and feeling grateful!


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About the Author

Piyushi Dhir is the author of 'In Search of Love', 'I'm Yours, The Next Time', 'Silent Promises' and 'Enmeshed Evermore'. She is a contributor in 'Nineteen Tales of COVID-19', a collection of short stories. A voracious reader, a keen traveler, a businesswoman and a mom, Piyushi currently resides in Canada. A nomad at heart, she loves to discover new places and capture the hues of life with her pen.