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Taking Stock to Take Heart: Making the Most Out of the Past and Coming Year

Updated: Jan 10, 2023

As 2022 comes to a close, setting apart some time to take stock of the past year can put us in a mentally healthy place for the new year. Rather than looking back critically, the goal is to look at what you have achieved. Many studies have shown that people tend to remember negative experiences over positive ones, so you might find it challenging initially. Take a look at the different areas to consider as you look back in order to get a great start to your future.

Photo of a reflection of a person in a glass ball.
Photo of a reflection of a person in a glass ball.

Consider Where You Started

Remember back to the beginning of the year. Where were you health-wise? Mentally? Emotionally? In your relationships? In your work life? It’s impossible to take great strides in all areas of your life, but is there progress in some? What might seem like a small change at first can significantly improve your life. Embrace a growth mindset, a name given by psychologist Carol Dweck to the idea that intelligence can develop and that effort leads to success. After all, life is a journey of self-discovery and loving what you find.

Consider Your Achievements

Think broadly about your work, family, volunteer contributions, network, and well-being. Define your achievements in more than just traditional terms. Success doesn’t have only to mean winning an award or getting a promotion. Measure success in terms of becoming a better person today than yesterday.

Photo of a card that says, “what can you do today that you couldn’t do a year ago?”
Photo of a card that says, “what can you do today that you couldn’t do a year ago?”

Consider What You’ve Helped Others Achieve

We are all part of a community, and your support and sacrifice to the whole is worthy of praise. It’s not about taking credit for others’ deeds but about reminding yourself about your role in the community. If you donated to charity, helped a neighbor, or visited elderly residents in a nearby care facility, you’ve contributed to the whole—and their success.


Consider What You Have Learned

As Viktor Frankl says, “In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning." Life’s trials can teach us lessons we might not learn otherwise, and our growth from them gives them meaning. We find out how resilient and strong we are, and we prove to ourselves we are more than we thought. The pride, confidence, and wisdom we gain are treasures we carry with us as we journey on.

Photo of a man standing on a mountain cliff with a pile of stones looking out at a view of mountains.
Photo of a man standing on a mountain cliff with a pile of stones looking out at a view of mountains.

Consider What is Ahead

Contemplating and meditating on your goals and dreams will put you in the mindset for success. A practice of visualizing your success regularly will help you believe its actualization. It will also lead you to constantly look for ways to advance your goals, signaling you’re on the right track. This is a great boost to your chances for success — because you’ll believe the world is supporting you in helping you accomplish your goals. That optimism will open up avenues for success.

So take the quietness and space of some downtime to connect with yourself and your loved ones. The mindful act of looking back at the year in a positive light with thanks will bring excitement for the next. There’s a saying, “In the end, it will all work out. If it hasn’t worked out yet, it’s not the end.”

Photo of a little boy looking up at a sign that says, “believe in yourself.”
Photo of a little boy looking up at a sign that says, “believe in yourself.”


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