The end is near.
We are smack in the middle of December.
The Christmas lights are twinkling and everything feels festive. The glimmer of the clean slate of the new year is quickly approaching.
But hiding underneath your bright smile is a feeling of failure. All of those forgotten New Year’s resolutions haunt you from the past. Those outrageous goals that were pushed to the side sit by and mock you.
I have been there, friend. But I have discovered that by taking time to reflect and look back, I recognize accomplishments that I picked up and stored away over the course of the year. When I break down my year, lots of accomplishments and successes reveal themselves to me.
It is important to reflect and look back on everything you have experienced and achieved during the last 12 months. A yearly review is a way to slow down, reminisce, and appreciate all the little and big things that were a part of your life this past year. This time also helps you to draw conclusions about what makes you happy and which things don’t.
Reflection will also help you ensure that your goals for the new year are in line with your priorities and values. I am going to share with you my steps for not only setting outrageous goals but accomplishing your goals in a later post. But today is all about taking time to look back at the good.
I have gathered 50 questions you can use as prompts to reflect on different aspects of your year. Write your answers down, simply think them through in your head, or talk them over with a friend. Give yourself the gift of reflection.
reflect on the events of the past year
1. What one event, big or small, are you going to tell your grandchildren about?
2. If you had to describe your 2015 in 3 words, what would they be?
3. What was your favorite place you visited in 2015?
4. What new skills did you learn?
5. If someone wrote a book about your life in 2015, what kind of genre would it be? A comedy, a love story, drama, or something else?
6. What book or movie affected your life in a profound way?
7. What little things did you enjoy most during your day-to-day life?
8. What cool things did you create this year?
9. Is there anything you did for the very first time in your life this year?
10. What experience would you love to do all over again?
11. What was the funniest moment of your year, one that still makes you burst out laughing when you think about it?
12. What purchase turned out to be the best decision ever?
13. What one thing would you do differently and why?
14. What activities made you lose track of time?
15. What new habits did you cultivate?
16. What is the best way you used your time this year?
Ask Yourself These Questions to Reflect on Your Personal Growth in 2015
17. In what ways did you grow emotionally?
18. In what ways did you grow spiritually?
19. In what ways did you grow physically?
20. What new things did you discover about yourself?
21. What was the best news you received?
22. Which of your personal qualities turned out to be the most helpful this year?
23. What was the most important lesson you learned in 2015?
24. What was your favorite compliment you received this year?
25. What was your most common mental state this year (e.g. excited, curious, stressed?)
26. Which worries turned out to be completely unnecessary?
27. How did your overall outlook on life evolve?
28. What was the biggest problem you solved?
29. What one thing do you deserve a pat on the back for?
30. What did you think about more than anything else?
31. What advice would you give your early 2015 self if you could?
32. Did any parts of your self or life do a complete 180 this year?
33. What major goal did you lay the foundation for?
Reflect on Your Personal Relationships of 2015
34. Who was your number one go to person that you could always rely on?
35. What, or who, are you most thankful for?
36. What 5 people did you most enjoy spending time with?
37. How did your relationship to your family evolve?
38. What was your favorite moment spent with your friends?
39. What or who had the most positive impact on your life this year?
40. What was the best gift you received this year?
Look Ahead to the New Year
These last 10 questions prepare you for 2016. Don’t feel like you must plan out your goals just yet. Simply capture any ideas for next year and use those for goal setting later in the month.
41. What do you want the overarching theme for your 2016 to be?
42. What do you want to see, discover, explore?
43. Who do you want to spend more time with in 2016?
44. What skills do you want to learn, improve or master?
45. Which personal quality do you want to develop or strengthen?
46. What do you want your everyday life to be like?
47. Which habits do you want to change, cultivate or get rid of?
48. What do you want to achieve career-wise?
49. How do you want to remember the year 2016 when you look back on it 10/20/50 years from now?
50. What is your number one goal for 2016?
Reflecting over the past year may seem mundane but it’s worth it. Taking the time to slow down and look back will help you see all that you have accomplished this year and to draw conclusions as to what is most important to you.
Once you have completed this step you will be ready to start moving into the new year with a new set of over the top goals and the confidence to make them happen.