I’m a memory collector.
Under my bed in a plastic storage container you will find a gathering of some of my life’s most treasured memories. Show programs, event lanyards, baby sweaters, tickets overseas, photos, newspaper clippings, cards and more all gathered together for a precious trip down memory lane. Although I don’t pull them out frequently to reminisce, I love every moment of reflection when I do.
Until recently, I hadn’t really considered how keeping a purposeful reflection box might be helpful in more ways then just the occasional tear-filled jaunt down memory lane.
Giving credit where credit is due, I heard this idea from my friend Julie Gaver on The New Mid Podcast. The premise is simple. Keep a box from January to December each year of items representing memorable moments. Beginning in January toss meaningful items into the box and continue to do so throughout the months. At the end of the December flip the box over and you’ll find yourself with a year full of memories to reflect upon starting with the events in the beginning of the calendar year and continuing in chronological order until December.
I love this for SO MANY REASONS.
Obviously I’m already an avid a memory collector and have been since my teenage years. What I like about a purposeful collection of yearly momentos is it allows you to not only meditate over what you have to be grateful for, it also can serve as a powerful reminder of your personal and professional accomplishments. In our fast-paced society it’s becoming the norm to keep moving forward and not give ourselves time to reflect or savor our successes. Keeping a yearly visual reminder helps us recognize our achievements as well as set a vision for the new year.
Once you review your box of memories you can choose to keep the memories in tact (or just the highlights) and start anew. It can be a very powerful tool if you let it.
A few project tips:
- Choose an attractive box that you can place strategically in sight to encourage usage. Out of sight = out of mind.
- Be purposeful about the items you save but don’t overthink it. (Yes, that lovely thank you note from your colleague should be included!)
- Designate a time before New Years to review what you’ve assembled. Preferably alone so you can savor your year.
- Keep the items that carry the most meaning to you for future reflection.
Is this something you do already? We’d love to hear your take on the yearly reflection box. Leave a comment!