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Dive deeper: use these self-reflections instead of resolutions

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Take a detour from any goals & resolutions you’ve considered at the start of the year, and instead set aside some dedicated time for deeper self-reflection.


Noticing who you are at a core level increases your sense of grounding and connection to yourself. And taking stock of what you like and want for yourself feels empowering & orienting for the future.

Choosing to thoughtfully reflect on yourself is an act of self-care. 


When we can pause long enough to do it, intentional self-reflection as a process helps us identify any unmet needs we have or changes we may want to make. This is not about adding more to your to-do list; it's about carving out a little pocket of time for yourself.

So if you’re game, below are 20 prompts for you to reflect on and consider. Here's how to do it:

  • Most folks have better outcomes by writing out the responses.

  • Try not to race through them.

  • Maybe set a timer for like 8 minutes and give yourself that full amount of time to simmer on these different aspects of yourself.

  • Then go back over them a few times to see if you’re captured your essence.

  • Once you’ve reflected, we’ll do something with what you’ve gathered.


And for my people pleasers & perfectionists out there…there are no right answers. Well actually, whatever you thoughtfully land on is the “right” answer for you. If you want to fully milk this exercise, keep your eyes on your own paper and contemplate what’s true for you, not what you think is the societally acceptable response.

~ 20 self-reflection questions for deeper awareness ~

Complete the statement: "I am a person who..."

...feels most alive when _______

...feels down when _______

...cares deeply about _______

...prioritizes _______

...wants to give more priority to _______

...has hopes of _______ inspired by _______ supportive of _______ grateful for _______

...used to be afraid of _______

...has an annoying habit of _______

...has a lovely habit of _______

...gets disappointed when _______

...struggles with _______

...used to struggle with _______

...tries hard to _______

...has compassion for _______

...feels safest when _______

...feels cared about when _______

...doesn't want to regret _______

Review your reflections for themes

Now take a look back through your responses. What themes do you notice?

Can you see patterns of things that you want MORE of or LESS of in your life?

Is the tone of your responses overall positive about yourself? Or is it overall critical of what you are not?

What do your responses reveal about how you allocate time?

What patterns do you see about your relationships and connections?

What themes appear about your self-care or overall well-being?

Are there recurring emotions or feelings throughout your reflections?

How is the alignment between things that are healthy/helpful/meaningful for you and the way you are living your days?

Takeaways and next steps

Now pull back and zoom out on all of it. Based on your reflection prompts and your thematic review, what are your takeaways?

How do you feel about what you've discovered here?

Are there any actions you'd like to take based on the exercise?


If you’d like, choose 1 thing that could get special attention this year ahead. Invest in meeting your own needs at a deeper level by focusing on fulfilling the bigger picture of who you are.

If you decide to choose a specific thing to focus on, below are links to some previous blog articles to help support you. They cover 4 categories:

  • Nurturing the relationship with yourself

  • Enhancing relationships with others

  • Taking good care of yourself

  • Making progress with goals

Wherever you go from this spot, I hope you can feel some pride that you took time to reflect on who you are, what you are about, and what things you are drawn to. That alone was an act of lovingkindness.

Focusing on nurturing the relationship with yourself

Self-compassion is the opposite of being a self-bully. Self-compassion is about relating to yourself with kindness as you would relate with (and speak to) a friend you cared about. It's different than self-esteem or confidence but is an important complement to these for an overall healthy sense of self.


Validation is one of the primary things we crave from others. We want to feel that we matter and that our thoughts & emotions matter to other people, especially to those people we care about. But there's no guarantee we'll get the validation we want and need from the people around us. Learning how to validate yourself is an essential tool for your emotional health toolkit.


Journaling is an effective and empowering tool for managing your mental and emotional health. Why? Emotions are bodily reactions to some kind of stimulus and they bring with them energy to manage the situation. That energy inside can get intense and it needs a way to get out. Journaling is one of many ways to let the energy out. Learn different approaches to journaling, prompts to get started and discover what might work for you.


All humans are driven to seek 3 basic needs: safety, connection, and comfort.

These primal defaults operate in us all the time. When your brain perceives a threat to them, it sends an alert to the emotions department. Suddenly you feel an emotion like fear or anger to focus you on taking action about that possible threat. Explore examples of threats to each of these 3 core needs and learn ways to get your needs met in difficult moments.



Focusing on enhancing your relationships with others

We all need relationships, it’s a human requirement. We all crave connection to other people. And we also can all act in unsavory ways from time to time that can bugger it up. The 8 items we'll explore are ideal aspects of healthy relationships and should be what you experience most of the time in your connection with someone.


Our attachment styles will show up with every human interaction. Learn how your tendency towards Secure or Insecure attachment impacts your communication, comfort with intimacy, and emotional state in relationships. Learn also how you can change your default attachment style.


Trust is one of the scariest gifts we can give someone. And trust is crucial for healthy relationships and connections. So, what do you need to see or experience with someone to know that they are trustworthy? Consider these 11 qualities to determine trustability.


The need for healthier boundaries has come up in sessions a lot. If you're wondering whether you need some different boundaries, one of the quickest ways to assess this is by noticing any feelings of resentment and irritability. Unhealthy boundaries often go against your personal values or rights.

Making adult friends can be surprisingly hard.  One of our basic human needs is connection with others, yet many of us struggle to make it happen. Anxiety and discomfort get in the way. Lack of time and lack of energy get in the way. Uncertainty about how to make friends gets in the way. Consider these 9 ways to find and connect with people so you can start building some new friendships.


Focusing on taking good care of yourself

Self-care is anything we do to help ourselves stay physically, emotionally and mentally well. Effective self-care falls into 2 buckets. Bucket #1 On-going things we regularly do to take care of our overall health and well-being. Bucket #2 Extra soothing activities we intentionally choose to do when stress is escalated.

Learn 16 ways to do ongoing and extra self-care without extra expense.


Sleep is essential to our emotional and physical wellness. Learn specific strategies in 4 important areas to improve: your daytime habits, your nightly routine, your sleep environment, and dealing with nighttime anxiety.


Listed are 14 foods that are especially brain healthy, and why. Your brain health impacts your emotional health. Adding brain healthy foods into your diet can help increase your mental clarity, your emotional management, your physical energy and overall health.


You're probably used to hearing that stress is bad and can increase your risk for heart problems, make you gain or retain weight, and overall decrease your quality of life. Yes and no. Stress is a useful and important biological response. Explore steps you can take in these 6 areas to keep your stress level in the helpful zone.



Focusing on making progress with goals


Have you stopped going to the gym yet? If you made goals or resolutions for the new year, odds are that you’re losing steam by now. Don’t give up yet! With a few powerful tweaks and considerations, you can increase your likelihood for success. Review your list and ask yourself 7 crucial questions.

We all struggle with motivation. Even objectively “successful” and “driven” people run out of steam. Motivation is so mood-dependent and we can talk ourselves out of taking or sustaining action incredibly easily. When you want to grow motivation or you hit a wall with your drive, remember the acronym VITALS. Learn to check your VITALS and see what modifications you might be able to make to help yourself out.


When we procrastinate, we often top it off with some feelings of shame and disappointment for being "lazy." But most often, our procrastination is rooted in worry thoughts and feelings of anxiety, not laziness. Generally we don't take action because there is some dread or uncertainty about how we'll feel if we do take action. Learn some specific strategies to address this dread and help yourself take action.


If high levels of anxiety and intense emotions are standing in the way of you feeling true to who you are, check out my 8-week online emotion regulation course to see if it's a fit for your needs.


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