End of Year Reflection; Reviewing the Good, the Difficult and the Lessons Learnt Along the Way
It’s impossible not to get a little excited about the new year and see January 1st as a chance for a new start; a clean slate. But one thing I’ve always loved to do is a yearly reflection in my journal, to look back over the past year in the days between Christmas and New Year. It’s only through the process of taking a mindful moment and looking back over the past 12 months that we realise just how much we accomplished, and how our experiences, failures and seemingly insignificant moments led to incredible progress, lessons and insights that will positively impact the new year.
What key lessons did you learn in 2020? What things were you most grateful for? Did you notice a personality trait that positively influenced your ability to handle all the uncertainty this year brought?
By reflecting on the last 12 months, you give yourself the opportunity to fully appreciate all the things you experienced and discovered, good and bad, as well as determine what things made you happy and which you hope to leave behind in the new year. Through self-reflection, you also gain a better overview of your life and how the way you thought about certain events directly impacted the way you felt, allowing you to see where you currently are and where you want to go next.
Carve out an hour of your day to sit with a cup of coffee and your favourite journal, and allow yourself a moment to look back on the moments you’re proud of, the goals you achieved or maybe didn't, the habits you hope to do more or less of, the things you’re incredibly grateful for and the lessons you learnt along the way - there’s no denying that this surreal year will have taught us all far more than we realised.
Below are a few questions I like to use, to get you started:
- What one event, big or small, had the biggest impact on me?
- What was the single biggest challenge I overcame?
- 10 incredible things that happened in the last 12 months
- 5 things I’m most proud of from the last 12 months
- 5 lessons I learnt in the last 12 months
- 5 things I want to do more of in the next 12 months
- 5 things I want to do less of in the next 12 months
- 5 things I want to continue doing in the next 12 months
- 5 great decisions I made in the last 12 months
- If I could live the last 12 months again, what would I do differently and why?
- Knowing what I know now, what advice would I have given myself at the start of 2020?
- 5 things I want to accomplish in the next 12 months
- Name the year: 2020 the year of...
Ps - One thing I love to do each year is re-read my reflection from the previous 12 months to see how much I personally grew as a person and the things I noted down wanting to achieve. Here's a little snippet from my 2019 review and the five key lessons I learnt that year;
- One bad thing in life doesn’t make you exempt, but whatever is thrown your way, you will handle it.
- People will unexpectedly walk into your life, people will unexpectedly walk out of your life, but neither will change your self-worth.
- 1% of progress seems small at the time but over time it does add up to huge differences.
- It’s not important to see the bigger picture and wonder how to get there. What’s important is just putting one foot in front of the other, staying in the present moment and facing daily obstacles when they arise.
- Really never waste a good crisis; something amazing can come from every struggle and they can teach us incredible lessons if we stop and think of what we can actually learn from them.
Happy New Year to you all - see you in 2021 x
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