Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.”
Oftentimes, people rush into the New Year and set new health goals for themselves.
Goals can be great.
However, when we don’t first learn from the past, we often repeat the same mistakes.
This year, let’s reflect, learn, be grateful, and then move forward with new goals and joy.
No insanity of repeated mistakes.
Here is a 5-Step Guide to Healthy 2021 Health Goal Reflections.
First, you’ll need:
Why is positive reflection important?
There are 3 distinct positive outcomes:
1) New insight when learning from both challenging and positive past events
2) Gratitude for the positive events and opportunities ahead (there are many benefits for gratitude)
3) Increased sense of control, preparation, and peace for the future.
These are important outcomes before setting new mental and physical health goals.
In fact, a 2018 study of 70 adults found that positive reflection and journaling can reduce mental distress, increase well-being, and enhance physical functioning (1).
First, there’s some mental and spiritual work to do.
It’s important to go through this exercise in an objective mental state. You don’t want to be overly emotional, too high or too low. You want to be objective and truthful with yourself.
Pray for this. If you are not able to be in this mental state now, continue to pray and wait until you are.
Next, pray for a grateful heart. No matter what 2020 brought, your ability to be truly grateful will shape your reflection experience and goals for the future.
Accomplishments and Positive Habits:
For example, if you lost 5 pounds, write down how this occurred. You began a keto zone lifestyle, you increased exercise to 3 times per week, you got 8 hours of sleep on average per night.
Challenges and Opportunities
For example, if your blood sugars went up, you may have 1) included too many carbohydrates in your diet, 2) did not exercise consistently, or 3) were sedentary throughout most days.
Summarizing events into learning lessons is the most important part of reflection. Life is about progress, not perfection, and the best way to progress is to keep learning. So, what did you learn?
In James 1:2-4, James admonishes us to “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Let’s learn with a joyful and grateful heart.
Next, take out your 3rd page. The last step allows you to take what you’ve learned and put them into actionable habits.
Now, it’s time to let go of page one. You don’t really need it anymore.
You’ve used it to summarize what you’ve learned, and what you need to do to move forward.
So, if you’d like to throw it away or burn it, do so. Or, you can tear it in half and keep the proud moments and just discard the mistakes portion. This act of letting go of the past things that hold you down is important.
It’s symbolic. Learn from the past, but don’t live there.
Next, you’ll need to think about setting goals for 2021. These goals will be habit and action-based. They will not rely on the ups and downs of motivation, but a rewiring of the brain that leads to discipline. Pray for the goals you’ll set.
Learn and be grateful for the past. Then, look and be grateful for the future.
In Philippians, 3:13-14, Paul says:
“Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Onward to your healthiest year!