Do you do New Year's Resolutions? I haven't for some years because I found I often disappointed myself. Maybe because I didn't think through my resolutions and they weren't developed enough to sustain the commitment. But for years now I've done something different and with better results. I give myself a year end assessment and plan my goals for the new year. It may seem like semantics but goal setting to me is more substantial and easier for me to get my mind around.
When I was younger, I would build a journal with pictures I cut from magazines to help me visualize the goal or end result I desired. Over the years, I got more into journals using words and asking myself introspective questions with less pictures perhaps because my goals became more difficult to capture in a picture.
A book that helped me with personal assessment skills was Sarah Susanka's
the not so big life...making room for what really matters. Sarah is an accomplished architect and the author of the groundbreaking bestseller The Not So Big House and the subsequent series. If you like thought provoking books, books that help you with self exploration, then you will enjoy Sarah's philosophical book that takes the reader to another dimension by showing us a new way to inhabit our lives. Worth the read.
She poses thought provoking questions for the reader and the thoughts about and answers to these questions will help you grow as a person, I know from experience.
One of my favorite doctors is Andrew Weil, MD. I met him in the 80s when he was a guest lecturer in Denver and have been following him since he wrote his first book, (now the author of 13 published books) and I subscribe to his online newsletter,http://www.drweil.com/.
His latest book is Spontaneous Happiness. In this book, Dr. Weil gives us the foundation for attaining and sustaining optimum emotional health. "Rooted in Dr. Weil's pioneering work in integrative medicine, the book suggests a reinterpretation of the notion of happiness, discusses the limitations of the biomedical model in treating depression, and elaborates on the inseparability of body and mind." His books are always so thought provoking that I go away with some new idea, thought, behavior, technique, etc.
NOTE: He is the founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center where he is also professor of public health and clinical professor of medicine, and the Lovell-Jones Professor of Integrative Rheumatology. He is a columnist for Prevention magazine among other venues. Mark and I went to his lecture at UCLA on aging and it was fascinating. The guy has credentials as well as exceptional communication skills!
And in the USA Today on New Year's, there was a fascinating article about the concept of the 'daily confession', another version of self review. http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/story/2012-01-03/new-year-honesty-daily-confession-self-improvement/52294264/1
I try to read not only novels, biographies, and interesting non-fiction but I love to include some philosophical books to my reading diet each year such as:
1) The Language of Life (A Festival of Poets) by Bill Moyers
2) The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
3) Wisdom of the Ages by Wayne W. Dyer
4) Haves Without Have-Nots by Mortimer J. Adler
and, Deepak Chopra's gripping novel, Buddha, which carried this review on the cover..."Deepak's insightful re-imagining of the life journey of one of the world's greatest spiritual leaders is a captivating read and a road map to personal spiritual growth from one of the most respected and inspiring leaders of our time" - Terry Semel, chairman & CEO, Yahoo!
I've always been introspective and I find it so helpful to my emotional well being...along with being connected to nature, being around animals and pets, being of service to others, being able to say 'no' when managing my personal time, and including beauty in my daily life such as fresh flowers, art, music. These are all suggested by Dr. Weil as examples of behaviors that bring well being. I know it's the secret to my happiness as I've moved into my final act.
Look within, be happy,