Confession: I’ve been looking back on the year for weeks already. I think it’s that important to carry your insights forward and to close the year well. This is how you become the very best version of you.
I use many of the following 16 questions when I reflect on my year. Because, honestly, it can be hard to remember the whole year without a few prompts.
But you could actually ask them at any time. You could take a quiet moment and reflect upon them at the end of each month, each quarter, half-way into the year, when you feel challenged, or on your birthday. Just change the context of the questions.
It’s up to you! Use them too much and you’re in danger of brooding; too little and you may block your own change because the power of habit is strong.
These questions will help you spot the sticky, tricky, and icky parts of your life. I know, that can be uncomfortable. So please don’t forget to focus on the positive and to celebrate the goodness too.
I created a free 7-page worksheet with these questions to facilitate your year-end review.
16 Compelling Questions for a Rich Year-End Review
You can use these questions as writing or journaling prompts and 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 select the ones that call to you.
When you’re ready, get cozy. Find a quiet corner or inspiring natural environment and reflect on these questions for awhile. Set them aside if you begin to feel tired or like it’s too much. Come back to them when you feel fresh and ready to explore more.
- Describe your year in a single word, sentence or paragraph.
- 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.
- What were the highlights of your year? The low-lights?
- 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 the year.
- Who/what were the significant people, events, and places during the past 12 months?
- What would you like to forget about this year? Do you have any regrets? Anything you would like to have done differently?
- What was the emotional tone of the year? What were the dominating emotional patterns? Don’t forget the good ones!
- Capture your year as a color, a taste, a feeling, a visual or a smell.
- 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.
- What did you accomplish? What challenged you?
- List your most important insights about your body, emotions, mind, spirit, work, finances, and/or relationships. And anything else important to you.
- What lessons, insights, perspectives, and new behaviors would you like to carry forward into the new year?
- Is there anyone to forgive, including yourself?
- 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?
- Is there anything you would like to complete before the start of the new year?
- Create your own question(s) about the past year.
Just in case, let me ask: Did you remember all the goodness of your year and your own inner beauty? Look back at what you’ve written and be sure to add in the positives if you haven’t already.
My Year In Brief
When I look back on my year, the word that comes up for me is “repair.” I spent enormous amounts of time on repairing my body, my mind, and my home.
At the same time, my husband and I designated this year as the “year of less pressure.” I thoroughly enjoyed learning how to better balance work and play and to not let my “pusher” get the best of me. The summer stretched longer than ever. I enjoyed every moment of warmth, all the splashes in the hot pond, and weeding in the orchard.
Of course, I had deeper insights too, and I know there’s more to come as I continue to work with these questions. In sum though, I can say my life is good and every year, every moment feels precious to me.
I hope you will take some quiet time to reflect upon your year too. If it’s too busy right now, download the worksheet, let the questions percolate, and fill it out as we get closer to the end of the year.
When you consolidate insights from the outgoing year, you’ll be able to enter the upcoming year with clarity, focus, and a good heart. So take some time and go for it!
How was your year? I would love to hear!
Thanks for being here! If you have a moment, please help me touch others by sharing this post. Thanks! If you’re new, please subscribe for free updates by email. With love, Sandra