The new year is almost here! Before you know it, it’s New Year’s Eve and you’re ready to ring in a new year with a fresh start and a clean slate. While it’s common this time of year to think about the future and what we want going forward, we rarely spend any time celebrating the past year or asking reflection questions to help us learn and grow.
Taking time out for a thoughtful, purposeful review of our last 12 months can give us insight and inspiration to help us make next year even stronger.
Why a year-end review is beneficial
Taking time to look back before moving forward is helpful for a few reasons: When we accomplish something — even if it’s a major achievement — we rarely take time to celebrate. We usually feel good for a minute and then move on to the next thing on our list. Reflecting helps us to pause, recognize how far we’ve come, and celebrate our successes.
Setting aside time to ask ourselves reflection questions gives us new insights about past challenges. When things don’t work out as planned, we often want to get past it as quickly as possible. But reviewing past obstacles can help you see and appreciate the lessons you’ve learned so that you don’t repeat them.
It feels therapeutic to close out the year in a thoughtful, positive manner. Much like letting go of a favorite possession, or bringing closure to a relationship, consciously closing out your year allows you to gain perspective, feel gratitude, and release anything that’s no longer serving you.
10 reflection questions to ask yourself about the past year:
You don’t need a bunch of tools or time to conduct a year end review. Simply grab a notepad, pen, and a quiet spot where you can be alone with your thoughts.
Ask yourself the following questions about the past year and journal your answers.
- What did I love most about this year?
- What memories did I make?
- What do I want to celebrate?
- What lessons did I learn?
- What do I want to carry with me into next year?
- What do I want to let go of?
- What relationships did I cultivate this year?
- Who are the people the helped me the most this year?
- What am I most proud of?
- What am I most grateful for?
After you’ve answered the questions, give yourself time to soak in all of the experiences you had in the past year. Thank what has served you and say goodbye to what hasn’t.
Start the new year with a fresh slate
When you set aside time to close out the last year of your life, reflect thoughtfully on what you’ve done and what’s still to be done, you can feel more gratitude for your experiences and feel even more excited about what’s in store.
Now when you consider your New Year’s resolutions, you can set them from a place of thoughtful awareness. You know where you’ve been, so you can see where you want to go.
Best wishes for a strong, healthy, and happy new year!
Stacey Hagen is the founder of Create Coaching & Consulting, where she works with purpose-driven women to create businesses and brands they love. She helps them clarify their message and articulate their value, so they can attract their dream clients and make a living doing what they love. You can get her free guide, 5 steps to start a purpose-driven business here.