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How reflecting on the past year can help you make this year better.
Why Should You Do an End of Year Reflection?
Reflecting on the ups and downs of the previous year is a mindfulness practice that helps you stay positive and track growth.
Time is precious and life is a gift, if we don’t spend time to meditate on those facts, we may let life pass us by.
The days can start to blur together and the only thing a new year brings is new problems. That’s the kind of perspective that is easy to fall into when we forget to acknowledge our past.
What Should You Reflect Upon?
You can reflect on the previous year by taking some time to yourself to think or writing down your reflections in a journal or even as a note in your phone.
You can reflect on many things, but the basics to get you started are your big accomplishments and any major disappointments.
If you’ve made a commitment to do a reflection, but you are having trouble coming up with more ideas, see the list below.
End of Year Reflection Ideas
- Big Accomplishments: Did you graduate college last year? Get a new job? Have a baby? Buy your first car? How did you feel when that happened and what were the obstacles you had to overcome to get there?
- Big Disappointments: What didn’t go your way last year? What were you hoping for that never happened? What happened that you weren’t prepared for? What is there to be grateful for in these situations?
- Major Life Changes: Did you move to a new state or a new country this year? Did you get married? Did you start a new exercise routine? What major life or lifestyle changes are you most proud of that happened last year?
- Your Impact: Where did you volunteer your time? How did you help your friends or people in need? Did you donate money or goods to a charity or an organization? What are your plans to make your impact bigger this year?
- Personal Achievements: What are you most proud of that you accomplished for yourself last year? Are you managing your anger better? Did you express yourself more last year? Did you make an effort to spend more time with friends? Did you spend time practicing a hobby that you love?
- Biggest Obstacle: What was the one thing you overcame that you never thought you would, or that you are really proud of?
- Best Memories and Moments: What are the moments that were special to you that you want to remember forever?
- Areas You Want to Improve: What are things you know you can do better on this year? Do you need to manage your money better? Are you wasteful? Are you too critical of yourself?
- Things You Want to Purge: What was the source of the most negativity or toxicity in your life last year? How can you better manage or eliminate it this year?
- People Who Helped You: In what ways did other people help you last year? Who are you most grateful for? What are your plans to pay it forward?
- Gratitude: What happened last year that you are thankful for? Did anything that happen that you forgot your were hoping for?
- Looking Forward: What are you most excited about for this upcoming year?
- Goals: What big things do you want to achieve this year? What is your plan to make them happen? What steps or milestones are involved in reaching your goals?
How to Make This Year Better
You’ve just reflected on past events and made plans for the future. You’re already off to a great start.
Have an honest conversation with yourself about your expectations and hopes for this year and create a plan to make them happen.
Keep your reflections as a reminder of what is possible and how strong you are to make this year your best year yet.