STRONGER TOGETHER: Thoughtful Beginnings—Shaping Your Responses for a Purposeful New Year

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Last updated: 30/12/2023

"STRONGER TOGETHER" is a weekly column where Tanya explores key issues. This week Tanya reflects on the past year, recalling the moments that sparked joy, challenges overcome, and unexpected sources of inspiration that can serve as the impetus for meaningful change in 2024.

By IMPACT Community Services Managing Director Tanya O'Shea

Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services Managing Director

As we approach the start of a new year, the customary rush to set (often over-) ambitious resolutions can overshadow the transformative potential found in a moment of reflection. Before plunging headlong into the hustle of 2024, let's engage in a thoughtful pause, guided by three simple yet profound questions: What experiences brought joy and fulfilment to you over the last 12 months? What truly energised you? How can you integrate these positive elements into your plans for the coming year?

Reflection on the past year is more than a ritual; it's a powerful exercise in self-awareness. Recalling the moments that sparked joy, the challenges we overcame, and the unexpected sources of inspiration can guide our path forward. Whether it was a work project that ignited passion, a newfound hobby, or moments spent with loved ones, these are the building blocks of a purposeful life.

When reflecting on the last 12 months, my personal moments of joy and challenge were not linked to an award or performance. The moments that lit me up were the belly laughs that I have had after my husband shared stories from his day. The day that my son moved in with his partner, and seeing the love and attention that he shows towards her. Spending time in the garden and watching our plants and vegs thrive, and the thrill I get from sharing our harvest with family and friends. Hitting every workout that was planned and debunking my GP’s diagnosis that I will never hike or do long distance walks again. The day our vet told me that our beautiful ageing dogs were doing okay, and even though their hearts aren’t great, they were not in pain and were still enjoying life.

These moments, genuinely fuel my sense of purpose and connection, and are the building blocks that create the resilience to overcome challenges when they come my way. They also pave the way for me to do all the other cool things that I look forward to in life.

In the spirit of James Clear's insightful quote, "You are not the cause for everything that happens to you, but you are responsible for how you respond to everything that happens to you," let's focus on the power of intentional responses. I encourage you to pause, and this year use this time for the type of reflection that will allow you to create the impetus for meaningful change.

Instead of rehashing the same old resolutions that usually fade with time, channel your energy into amplifying the activities that brought you joy this year. If workplace camaraderie was the source, find ways to strengthen team bonds. If a creative pursuit energised you, intentionally allocate time for it in your schedule. Personally, exercise is the first thing that goes into my calendar each day. I even invested in a home gym to make sure that there are no longer any excuses, and as a result, my workout completion rate finished bang on 100% in the last 12 months.

This reframing of our approach transforms resolutions into deliberate choices. Instead of starting from scratch, we build upon the foundations of what we know has worked for us before. It's a process that demands honesty with oneself and a commitment to nurturing and embedding those positive elements into our lives.

As we embrace the power of reflection, respond with intentionality, and refocus on what truly matters, we are paving the way for a new year that is not just filled with goals and achievements. Instead, it is created from a highlights reel that we know will bring challenge, but along with that, it brings genuine contentment and fulfillment.

Cheers to a purposeful 2024! May yours be filled with more of the good stuff that lights you up and leaves you feeling energised and prepared for whatever comes next.

Please note: This website may contain references to, or feature images, videos, and voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have passed away.

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