“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
― Søren Kierkegaard
Each year-end, I make a point to spend some time reflecting on the previous twelve months. Looking back on the previous year gives me a sense of clarity as the new year begins. I take some time to remember my big wins (being recognized as a Chairman’s Community Award recipient), small wins (potty training my son), and challenges (evolving relationships both personally and professionally).
A few years ago, I found a template to guide me through my year-in-review. I use the same template year after year because answering the same questions gives consistency to the reflection process. I’m able to see progress on goals I’ve set and places I still need to grow.
These sixteen questions are by no means exhaustive but help me reflect on each aspect of my life instead of spending time only reflecting professionally or personally.
- If the energy of your past year could be encapsulated by one word, what would that word be?
- What were your big wins this year?
- What were your small wins this year?
- What were your challenges this year?
- For every challenge on your list, write down 1 (or more) lessons, tools, or gifts your challenges gave you this year.
- What do you need to shed or leave behind from this past year?
- Who were the most integral people in your life this past year and did these people support you, teach you or help you to grow?
- Regarding physical health, what health, wellness and fitness practices were most beneficial or enjoyable for you this year?
- What health, wellness and fitness practices were the most challenging or perhaps detrimental?
- With that in mind, what are your health goals for this coming year?
- Regarding financial health, what practices (if any) did you implement in the past year that were of benefit?
- What financial practices will you start (or continue) in the coming year to grow wealth and become financially stable?
- What are your career or vocation goals for this coming year?
- What are your personal goals or intentions for this coming year?
- Keeping these goals in mind, what is one over-arching intention you would like to set for this coming year?
- At the end of this coming year — when you look back at your life over the last 12 months — what is the ONE thing you want to have accomplished or maintained commitment to?
Do you spend time reflecting on the past year? What questions do you find helpful in your reflection?
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