As we come to the end of another cycle, it’s time to take a break - reflect on 2010 and set intentions for 2011.
My ever-present intention for Singapore, what's yours?
I’ve set my 2011 intention for myself. What about you? I thought I would share some questions that might be helpful if you choose to do some reflection as well. It’s a long list so you can pick what speaks to your heart; space them out or carry them over to the following year if you like. Reflect with trusted friends or relatives and if you do, be gentle and supportive in how you respond to others’ thoughts. Write or make some other physical representation (such as a collage or mind-map) of intentions that emerge. Having something physical to take away from reflection helps me a lot.
There’s one question here that is most powerful for me – the last one! If you do just one, I’d recommend that one!
1. Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010. Learn more.
2. Who or what was your best discovery in 2010?
3. What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it? To whom are you most grateful for this year and how can you express that to them? Learn more, or see an example of a letter of gratitude.
4. What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward? Discover more.
5. Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you? Find out more.
6. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? Learn more.
7. Which virtues did you develop the most in 2010? Here’s a list of virtues.
8. What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? Bonus: Will you do it? Learn more.
9. What virtue/s would you like to develop more in 2011? Here’s a list of virtues.
10. Who can support you in transcending your fear about something that is holding you back from a more joyful life? Learn about how our dog, Max, overcame his fear of the sea.
11. Who/what would you like to open your heart to more in 2011?
12. Who do you most need to forgive? Get some ideas.
13. To whom do you need to apologise?
14. Where is there most imbalance in your life? Where would you like to spend a few more hours a week next year?
15. Imagine that you will die in exactly one year. How would you live this last year so you can die in peace and in a state of fulfillment, grace and gratitude? Write down what you would do. If you let it guide you, your life will most likely change in one year in ways you cannot imagine now. (I was inspired by Stephen Levine, author of “A Year to Live” and my inspiring former professor at Columbia University, Barbara Becker, who lived like this year was her last.)
This past year has been the best year of my life because I also intended to live like I could die at any time. Although I didn’t go through a structured programme and I admit I didn’t always keep to the spirit of it, I’m amazed at my progress. One reason why I mention forgiveness quite a bit on this blog is because I have felt its tremendous power in my life.
If you forward or post one question on Facebook or anywhere else, would be great if you could forward each question with attribution to the author/source. This way, your friends might find something on the website of the source that is helpful.
Vadivu Govind also blogs at Happiness.sg