The New Year is a time for setting goals and intentions for the coming year. Hopes, dreams, and ambitions are all celebrated as we prepare to start a new chapter in our lives. While it’s wonderful to look to the future, it’s also important to reflect on the past so we can integrate the lessons we’ve learned from the previous year.
Most recommendations for setting new year’s resolutions don’t consider what happened the previous twelve months. Instead, they focus entirely on the future, which makes it hard to truly absorb the wisdom that can be gained by looking at the past. In Chinese Medicine and Qi Gong, we view the past as an important teacher that can help us create clear and meaningful intentions for the future.
In this blog, we’ll provide a Qi Gong journaling exercise to help you fully integrate the lessons you learned in 2022 so you can establish powerful new year’s resolutions for 2023. We’ll also share one of our intentions for 2023 with you, which happens to be a major upcoming announcement! (Scroll all the way to the bottom to find out.)
What are Your Biggest “Wins” from 2022?
To get started, find a quiet place and take out a journal or a few pieces of paper. It’s best if you’re not short on time, and you’re in a relaxing environment. If you can, perhaps even go on a walk outside and take your journal and a pen with you.
Once you’re in the right place, take out your journal and begin writing about your most significant “wins” from 2022. These are the things you did that you feel great about! Was there a big accomplishment, such as getting a job that you love or completing an important project?
As you’re writing, don’t limit yourself to work, school, or other concrete areas of accomplishment. Be sure to also reflect on your relationships, habits, personal goals, and how you felt throughout the year in general. Did you experience growth within your romantic or personal relationship? If so, that’s definitely something to be grateful for and consider a “win.” What about your habits? Did you get consistent exercise and follow a healthy diet? If so, write that down too.
It’s often easier to notice the things that you didn’t like about your year, but it’s important to acknowledge the ways you succeeded at accomplishing your intentions. Try spending five to ten minutes writing down your wins, although you can certainly spend more time if you’d like.
What Didn’t Work Out the Way You Hoped?
After writing down the things you did well, it’s time to acknowledge the areas that didn’t quite go as you planned.
Turn the page in your journal and begin writing down any goals or intentions that you didn’t manifest in 2022. Think about all of the things we discussed in the previous section—career, health, personal improvement, relationships, and any other aspects of your life that are important to you.
As you do this journaling exercise, try not to judge yourself for areas of your life that can be improved. No one is perfect and there’s always going to be room to grow. This is an exercise to shine a light on all areas of your life so you can integrate the lessons into your path ahead.
What Do You Want to Keep Doing in 2023?
Now that you’ve reflected on the past, it’s time to turn your attention to the future. This is where you get to learn from your past experiences in order to create clear intentions for the year ahead.
Before you start thinking about new goals or aspirations, take some time to think about the habits or activities from 2022 that you want to continue in 2023. It can be helpful to reference what you wrote down in the first section of this exercise (your biggest “wins”).
For example, if you’re grateful for a relationship, perhaps you want to focus on continuing to grow that relationship. Or, if you love your job, maybe you’re excited to continue building your skills at work. Maybe you rocked getting your kids to bed on time (most of) the year? Maybe you got better at public speaking? There are no right or wrong answers, so just write down whatever feels true to you.
This exercise is important because it helps cultivate an appreciation for all of the wonderful gifts you already have. It also helps you reestablish your dedication to the people and things important to you.
What Do You Want to Call Into Your Life in 2023?
Next, turn another page in your journal for all of the new things you want to cultivate in your life.
To start this section, look at your list of “what didn’t work out the way you hoped” first. Then, rewrite each item as a positive intention for the year ahead. For example, if you didn’t exercise as much as you would have liked in 2022, perhaps write something like, “In 2023, I will start each morning with a twenty-minute walk in my neighborhood.”
Turning your challenges into goals helps you transform old patterns into healthy habits and behaviors. This is why the previous section is so important. It provides clarity on specifically what to change so that you can create empowering intentions for the coming year. It’s similar to how nature composts old vegetation and transforms it into fertile soil for new seedlings to grow.
After reviewing your list of things you want to change, try to think of brand-new areas you’d like to expand to. Do you want to start a new activity or hobby, or embark on a new adventure? Perhaps you’d like to set a goal for retirement or a savings goal? This is where you can let your imagination soar and put your dreams down on paper.
At this point, you should have two lists that will serve as your guiding pillars as you move forward into the new year. The first list includes everything that you want to continue doing in the coming year. The second list contains everything you want to transform or start doing. Both of these lists are equally important, as they reflect the lessons of the past distilled into clear intentions for the future.
At Holden QiGong, there’s one clear lesson we’ve learned from the past that we’re excited to transform into an intention for the year ahead…
In-Person Events Are Back in 2023!
As grateful as we all are for online learning, we know that it just isn’t the same as gathering in person to practice Qi Gong! That’s why we’re thrilled to announce that in-person Qi Gong events are back in 2023!
If you’re someone who thrives on practicing side-by-side with other students, stay tuned as we’ll be sending out more information soon. If you’ve ever practiced with Lee in person, you know that there’s something very special about coming together with others to learn, connect, and practice.
Here’s to your health and wellness in 2023 and to sharing Qi together soon in person.