12/17/2012 09:13 am ET Updated Feb 16, 2013

Reflecting Before the World Ends

With the end of the world coming up, it would probably be a good time for you to reflect on these past few years. I mean, with the Mayan calendar ending in about a week or so, you should probably take a nice look back on the good times and the bad times. Okay, I know that the world will not end on December 21, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take time to reflect. And, when I say reflect, I mean really think, realize and maybe even find closure. Not just press the "See Your 2012 in Review" button on Facebook.

Reflecting can be surprisingly tough to do. You have to learn to look back at the past without getting stuck in it. It's easy to cross the line between simply being thankful for everything that has happened this year and becoming nostalgic and caught up in the past. And, sometimes, it's hard for you to want to remember the past. Sometimes you don't want to think about the dark, lonely times in your life. Sometimes you don't want to reminisce about good times with people who are no longer in your life. And, you just feel like you should always be moving forward, never looking back. That's how you get over things and be a better person, right?

But reflecting can bring closure. You can see why things worked out... or why they didn't. You can connect all those events in retrospect that made no sense at the time. I remember encountering multiple failures during my senior year of high school. It felt like every time I got back up after getting knocked down, I would get rejected all over again. But now, all those failures and defeats make so much sense because I know where they led me. Or you can realize how far you've come, how much happier you are now and how much you've grown. There have been several occasions where I've actually reread some of my journals from the past two years and almost cried out of appreciation that I am in a 10 times better place now than I was then.

So, please take the time to reflect, even if it seems painful, useless or stupid. Maybe it will remind you that you are progressing, or make you see that you aren't and change your ways. So, as we await the world not ending anytime soon, you should be able to find some time to reflect.