I try to spend the least amount of time possible dwelling in the past or anticipating the future. Living in the present moment brings so much more ease and richness into my life.
At the same time, I feel it’s so important to consciously capture our life lessons and to reinforce them. Otherwise, due to the power of habit, we may just keep playing the same old songs.
The end of the year offers a natural time to pause, acknowledge and celebrate your positive changes. Inner reflection also gives you a chance to spot the sticky, tricky, icky parts of your life. Without this recognition, personal change may never occur.
So cozy up with yourself! Find a quiet corner or inspiring natural environment and consider one or more of these 15 sets of essential questions. Take the time to consolidate your 2013 insights so you can enter 2014 with clarity, focus and good heart.
Questions to Enrich Your 2013 Review
You can use these questions as writing or journaling prompts to dig deeply. Or, you can work with them lightly to paint an impressionistic picture of your year. There’s no need to respond to every question. Just pick the ones that call to you.
1. Describe your year in a single word, sentence and paragraph.
2. Look back at each month of the year. Write one sentence to describe each month. Or, write a sentence that elucidates the most important lesson learned each month.
3. What were the highlights of your year? The low-lights?
4. Read through your journals, highlight the juicy bits and compile a mega list of lessons learned. Then whittle your list to your top 3 life lessons from 2013.
5. Who/what were the significant people, events, and places during the past 12 months?
6. What would you like to forget about this year? Do you have any regrets? Anything you would like to have done differently?
7. What was the emotional tone of 2013? What were the dominating emotional patterns? Don’t forget the good ones!
8. Capture your year as a color, a taste, a feeling, a visual or a smell.
9. Look through your photos and chose the ones that best represent the year. Write an evocative headline for each. Create a photo collage that represents the essence of your year.
10. What did you accomplish? What challenged you?
11. List your most important insights about your body, emotions, mind, spirit, work, finances, and/or relationships. And, any thing else important to you.
12. What lessons, insights, perspectives, and new behaviors would you like to carry forward into the new year?
13. Is there anyone to forgive, including yourself?
14. Did you choose a single word as your guiding star this year? If so, how did it go with your word? Did you remember it? Did you bring it alive?
15. Create your own question about the past year.
Don’t forget to remember all the goodness of your year, and your own inner beauty! Don’t just focus on the problems and challenges.
Dancing with Uncertainty
Overall, it’s been a remarkable year for me. Surprisingly, some of my deepest and strongest patterns shifted. I came to understand on a gut level that so much of my closely held fear was a construction of my own mind. I opened to receive love in a new and more complete way. I let go of some very heavy baggage this year. Life is all the more sweet for having done so.
Of course, I had my challenges too; like a bout of bronchitis that I thought would never go away. As difficult as they may be, I know there’s so much wisdom to be gained from the difficulties. And that keeps me going because life is uncertain. We never know what will come next.
Have you started your 2013 personal review? What stands out for you from 2013?
I’m so glad you’re here! If you liked this article, please subscribe for free updates by email. With love, Sandra