In ancient times, November 1st marked the end of the harvest and the beginning of winter. It was believed that the veil between this world and the next was thin enough for those who had passed on to return and provide inspiration and/or warnings for the coming year.
October 31st was a day for honoring one’s ancestors and reaping their wisdom for the future. It was during the rituals of Samhain (pronounced sow-in), the burning of bonfires and sacrifices of food and the harvest to the ancestors, that this wisdom came through.
In modern times, these days are not so sacred…but they should be. This is the time (in the northern hemisphere at least) when the days get colder, the nights are longer, and the world turns inward.
Preparing for the winter, which used to be a life or death activity, has become lost in modern society. With the advent of electricity and heaters, we no longer fear the deep cold that comes with winter. We are no longer bound by weather because we have the tools to move it aside and get on our way.
But it is still a good practice to slow down a bit. To take stock of what you have, what you’ve gained, and what you’ll need to progress in the coming year.
The days ahead are filled with celebration of the passing year. But do we really look back on our year and tally up all the things we’ve done?
When was the last time you sat down and listed out all you did in a year? I’ll bet, if you’ve ever done it, that it’s been a good long minute.
Chances are if you were to sit down right now, you probably couldn’t remember what you did last month, let alone what you did back in January.
Dan Sullivan, in his book The Gap and the Gain, says, “The future isn’t a reality – it’s a projection. … The only way to measure goals is backwards.” Yet our society is ever looking forward, refusing to look back.
It’s up to you to change this trajectory of always seeking and never gaining. And you can do this by looking back. Seeing just how far you’ve come this year. Celebrating all the accomplishments. Mourning all the things and people that have passed on. Reviewing the mistakes and how you overcame them.
Most people think of the holidays as stressful. “Gotta get all the presents.” “Have to get the decorations up.” “Oh man, do we HAVE to go see that side of the family?” “Make sure we have all the right food!” and those stresses are there.
But when countered with acknowledging the accomplishments of the year, both yours and others, it can calm the effect of those burdens. The holiday stress turns into excitement and curiosity to celebrate how everyone has grown over the year.
Looking back on all your accomplishments gives you a foundation from which to start creating your next year. Winter is coming and it is a time for rest and reflection. Really take a look at how far you’ve come. Celebrate it! Revel in your “new normal”. Remember when you only aspired to be here.
Start celebrating the holidays today and give yourself a Goal’d-Star™! Download the FREE Year End Goal’d-Star™ mini-journal.