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Goodbye 2021 – I'm ready For 2022 – Reflect, Let Go And Open Space To Receive The New Year

Written by: Sofia Sevilla, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


I write this article as we close a new chapter in our lives by saying goodbye to 2021. What emotions does this bring? How do you feel when you finish a book that kept you on the edge of your seat the whole time you were reading it? When you see an empty blank page ready to start a new chapter, what do you think?

It's an exciting time of the year because people either avoid the fact that we are closing a cycle or start a critical reflection of their past year. I know that most people say that 'we don't have to wait until January first to take action' because it's true, we don't have to! Every day it's an opportunity to start again. But we also have to recognize that saying goodbye to a whole year is a beautiful opportunity to reflect on things that are working, something that we must let go of, and the things that we are grateful for the past year.

I want to divide this article into three sections as a practical guide for the last days of the year. The first part is about reflections and how to analyze your past without guilt or disappointment. Then I will talk about gratitude and recognize that you could grow besides everything that happened. Lastly, establish realistic goals to start new beginnings. The purpose of this exercise is to give yourself the space to review the year without judgment, but instead with gratitude and the courage to let go of all the things that currently are not helping you grow and open new spaces to fill it with wellness and peace.


To move forward into the future, we must learn from our past. We all know that our experiences, beliefs, and culture shape what we are today. But as we learn to reflect on what is functional or dysfunctional in our life, we understand that if the experiences or beliefs are not aligned with our essences, we have the unlimited possibility to change. The last week of the year is an excellent opportunity to pause for a few minutes and reevaluate beliefs, goals, values, and life directions. Review the past and see what worked and didn't, without judgment or guilt.

The end of the year reflection helps us modify our perspective of our experiences from a source of suffering to a source of learning. Each experience impacts our life differently depending on our beliefs and experiential labels. If we choose to label the experience as "negative," each time we look back to that moment, it triggers discomfort. But if we label the experience as "different than expected" and understand that different, it's an opportunity to grow; we realize that every situation this past year was an opportunity to grow and learn.

Journal Prompts:

  • What did my existential crisis teach me in 2021?

  • What happened differently from what I expected and ended up being for the best?

  • When did I feel frustrated or angry? What limits did I establish or let go of after these experiences?


Gratitude is the opposite of scarcity or lack. Each time we are in a position where we feel victims of our reality, we rely on absence. Victimhood is the opposite of being the protagonist or main character of our own life. So, this means that once we start shifting our attention to what we are grateful for in our present moment, we also become the protagonist of our lives.

When we depend on something or someone to "be happy," we always expect something not aligned with our current reality. We might reach that expectation and acknowledge that we are not happy. Or it could happen that we never get to that expectation, and all our attention is focused on what we don't have instead of what we do. Expectations are the illusion created by our surroundings that we can't be happy until we achieve "x, y, or z." This illusion or expectation continuously reinforces scarcity or lack, making us think we are not enough.

To contradict the scarcity or the illusion, we need to choose to become the main character in our life, all with gratitude. Understand that first and foremost, we are already enough once we realize that we are human beings. It's not about the money, the job, the expectations; it's about acknowledging that each breath we take is something to be grateful for in our life.

It's not about comparing my life to those that don't or do have something different from what I have. It's about learning to appreciate and be grateful for the present moment, the unique experiences of each person, and its meaning and function. It values the small or extraordinary things that happen each minute. It identifies and chooses to change from a vision of absence to gratefulness.

Journal Prompts:

  • Remember a moment in 2021 when you followed your intuition and are grateful today.

  • What dream or goal did you achieve in 2021 that you feel thankful for?

  • Three people that you are grateful for in 2021 and why?

New beginnings

After reflecting on 2021 and finding gratitude in our present moment, we can choose between two opposites for 2022. Or we keep navigating the same river or turn in a different direction. New beginnings require action and the ability to decide. Sometimes all we need is a few seconds of unimaginable courage to determine that we need to change directions and leave our comfort zone to achieve peace. It's an opportunity to change our internal language, understand the power of words and learn how to read our current situation with a broader perspective. Realize that our beliefs and experiences take us to tunnel vision, and we must be willing to open our minds and choose to see the positive.

For this new beginning or new year, I'm encouraging all my patients to change their dysfunctional and unreachable goals to one solid plan: finding wellbeing. Each day of the year, the challenge will be creating habits and acting on the present moment to achieve wellbeing. Having this goal as the primary purpose will encourage exercise, mindful practice, learning a new hobby, reading books, setting boundaries, etc. Still, most importantly, it would enable the person to fully live their present moment at peace.

Journaling prompts:

  • What did I learn about myself in 2021? How have I grown or changed in 2021?

  • What do I want to welcome more of in my 2022?

  • If my primary purpose and goal in 2022 is my wellbeing, what daily steps should I take to achieve this?

The choices you make today will determine your tomorrow. Choose vulnerability, empathy, happiness, wellbeing, and peace. Choose to be the protagonist of your present moment. Happy new year!

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Sofia Sevilla, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Sofia Sevilla is a clinical psychologist with a focus on cognitive behavioral therapy and specialization in third-generation therapies, such as mindfulness, body therapy, and emotional wellbeing. She is also a Certified Yoga Teacher. In October 2020, after a few months of being confined because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sofia decided to join the wave of psychologists willing to work on improving the collective welfare of society. For which she developed a practical program with the purpose of improving the quality of life of her patients using scientifically based methods and tools. The program was designed to explore four areas of a person's life: the cognitive, emotional, bodily, and spiritual consciousness. Her purpose as a psychologist is to guide her patients through a path that leads to lasting wellbeing.



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