The New Year is always a very introspective time for me. I treat New Year's Day a little as though it were a cross between Good Friday and Yom Kippur. It's a time for reflecting on the past year's successes and failures and for making plans for the future.
During the weeks leading up to New Year's Day and the first week or so of the new year, I review the previous year and make plans for the upcoming year. First, I review my spending and prepare my budget for the coming year. (Yes. I have a written budget and I monitor it at least weekly all year long.) I review my net worth, which is not very high, but it has been trending in the right direction.
Typically I clean out my closets and organize my important papers. (All of which seem to manage to become a mess during the course of the year.)
I reflect on the year past and spend some time making specific plans for the coming year. I have been conducting that review and planning for more than a decade, using the same format. Reviewing those reflections is both terrifying and illuminating.
Recently, I ran across this post at Time to Write. The project intrigued me so much, I started it the day I read the post. I keep a private online blog/journal, so I decided to post photos and quick blurbs about interesting things I have learned, done, seen or accomplished. I am having a blast. I occasionally have days when I learn or accomplish several interesting things. This project is fun but also seems to truly foster both mindfulness and creative thinking in that I'm constantly on the lookout for stuff I learned or interesting things I've seen, which often sparks creative story ideas.
Over the course of this year, I may very well share some of that information here, but in any case, I highly recommend the project. If nothing else, on days when one feels blue, it could be fun to review the things one has learned and/or accomplished. If nothing else, it may help maintain perspective, both on the good times and the unhappy times as well.
Happy New Year!