It’s coming on Christmas and then the new year. That means it’s time to start reflecting on the year past.
I’ve done this for a number of years now and have come up with a new, quantitative way, to systematically, synthesize my analysis and reflection. Hopefully this will lead to better, or at least improved, outcomes in the coming year(s). You might find it useful, also.
we might all agree, has been a bitch. I’ve named it The Year of the Mask. Because that seems to best symbolize all that has transpired. The Mask represents, not only the COVID-19 pandemic, but also the political divide and debate in this country. In addition, in psychological jargon, it represents our personality and the face we put out into the world.
I’ve come up with are illustrated below. There are six categories and five or six headings in each, for a total of thirty-three data points of measurement. However, there is some overlap of data.
For instance: Health appears as both a category and a heading, or sub-category (in the category of Happiness). It, more than any other data point, might be the most important factor when analyzing this past year: The Year of the Mask. Because if you are not in good health, everything else becomes irrelevant. This is the starting point (food, water, shelter, etc.) of the Hierarchy of Human Needs category. It’s essential. Or, on that which everything else depends. If you cannot secure the basics of survival you’re done for.
The Year of the Mask
put everyone’s health in jeopardy. So we were told. Or maybe it was used by some to advance their own metrics?
And so I propose this tool to accurately assess the past year as you reflect.
or how to use this tool.
Each category has sub categories, all of which can be given weight, or importance. But all categories are important! Moreover, they are interactive and thus influence other categories. [“Permutations of complications”. Shout out to David Foster Wallace’s (1961-2008) book Infinite Jest.]
I start with the “Elements of a Story” because we (humans) need a narrative. Which factors into our “Health and Well Being”. Trust me?
Each sub-category can be given a grade, A to F, worth points, 4 to 0. Thus each category can be given a grade, A to F. I color coded mine: pink (A), orange (B), yellow (C), green (D), and Black (F or 0).
Then, I compared where I was last year to this year, represented by the arrows next to the grade. This is not hard because I keep a daily journal, and have been in psychotherapy for the past three years. However, it (psychoanalysis) can be time consuming and expensive. But, because I’m damn near a 1st order narcissist, I like doing the work. [See Esteem needs, Ego Strength, and Psyche – all of which I score high on (pink, A, 4pts.) And yet there is the $ component/factor. Which I am insecure about.]
What’s It All Mean?
Maybe nothing. However, you might notice there’s no mention of external factors. Like who’s president.
Which category is most important? That depends … surely “Needs'” first sub-category reigns supreme? But and so who and what does that depend? At what point in your life are you in control?
Happiness (or permutations of complications)
is definitely something to be considered. Some say it is the determinant factor in how a person votes, regarding who they want to “lead”. The question, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” is used to measure that. … Are you?
Now you have a tool.