Always Well Within

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How to Capture Your Most Important 2017 Life Lessons (with Free Workbook)

Personal Year End Review

Each year I share a series of compelling questions to help you capture your year-end life lessons and confidently move into the new year.  This simple practice of year-end reflection and integration can be a powerful way to become more aligned with your true self each and every year.

While it might seem early to start on your personal year-end reflection, I personally like to plant the questions like seeds in the back of my mind and let them naturally germinate for awhile before I start journaling about them.

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 isn’t one right way.  One word answers are fine if that’s what suits you, or you can pour your heart out if that will help you make the most of the year.

There’s no need to respond to every question unless you wish to do so. In fact, some of the questions look at similar themes from a slightly different angle.  You can select just the ones that call to you.

These questions will help you see the tricky parts of your life, but they can also help you highlight the positive.  Resist the temptation to focus solely on the negative or the difficult.  Be sure to balance it with the good bits, and always be kind and gentle with yourself.

When you feel ready, get cozy.  Find a quiet corner or inspiring natural environment and reflect on these questions for awhile.  Sign up to download the FREE Your Year In Review 2017 Workbook to record your answers.  Set the questions aside if you begin to feel tired or like it’s too much.  Let them sit for for awhile in the back of your mind.  Then come back to them again when you feel ready to explore more.

Ready to explore the questions?

18 questions + free workbook to help you capture your most important 2017 life lessons. #yearendreview #personalreview #lifereview #journalprompts #journalingprompts

18 Questions to Help You End the Year Well

  1. Describe your year in a single word, sentence, or paragraph.  Capture your first impressions.  Then revisit your response at the end of your reflections and see if you’re initial impressions have changed.
  2. Who/what were the significant people, events, and places in your life during the past 12 months?
  3. What were the highlights of your year?  The low points?
  4. What did you feel passionate about this year?
  5. What distracted you this year?
  6. Did you have spiritual aspirations for 2017? If you did, which ones did you accomplish? Which ones are incomplete?
  7. What would you like to forget about this year, if anything?  Do you have any regrets?  Anything you would like to have done differently?
  8. What was the emotional tone of the year?  What were the dominating emotional patterns?  Don’t forget the good ones.
  9. Capture your year as a color, a taste, a feeling, a visual or a smell.
  10. Look through your photos and choose the ones that best represent the year.  Write an evocative headline for each one of your favorites.  Create a photo collage that represents the essence of your year.
  11. Is there anyone to forgive, including yourself?  What needs to be forgiven.
  12. List your accomplishments for the year.  Be generous with yourself!
  13. What challenged you this year?
  14. List your most important insights about your body, emotions, mind, spirit, work, finances, relationships, and anything else important to you.   If you wrote in a journal, you could go through your entries to help you remember.
  15. 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?
  16. Which lessons, insights, perspectives, and new behaviors would you like to carry forward into the new year?  What would you like more of in 2018?  What would you like less of in 2018?
  17. Is there anything you would like to complete before the start of the new year?
  18. Create your own questions about the past year.

Reminder:  Look back at question 1 to see if your initial impressions have changed.  If they have, add any new thoughts to that section.

I made a 24-page workbook for you with these questions and ample space for your responses.  You can download it FREE when you sign up for the Always Well Within Library and my e-letter.

The process of gathering my insights at the end of the year helps me to gain clarity, let go of the past, and get a fresh start for the new year.  I hope you enjoy the process too.

What are some of your most important life lessons from 2017?  I would love to hear.

Thank you for your presence, I know your time is precious!  Don’t forget to sign up for my e-letter and get access to all the free self-development resources (e-books, mini-guides + worksheets) in the Always Well Within Library. May you be happy, well, and safe – always.  With love, Sandra

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18 Comments

  1. jean sanpson

    My entire year was dominated by problems with my ear that never go away (sort of like my brain has been taken over by aliens) and something called Microscopic Colitis which has responded well to a distance healer but sometimes flares if I eat too much or the wrong things. On the other hand, I have experienced a breakthrough in my drawing and painting, so, I guess it all evens out in the end. I am always hopeful for healing 🙂 I hope you are well, Sandra. Love to you! <3

    • What a year, Jean. I’m so sorry you are still have the ear problems. I don’t remember whether I gave you this link before, it’s the best information on Microscopic Colitis on the internet: http://www.perskyfarms.com/phpBB2/index.php

      How thrilling you’ve experience breakthroughs in your drawing and painting! What an inspiration.

      I’m hopeful for your healing too. Sending love and prayers.

      • Jean sampson

        Thank you for the link, Sandra! Yes, I have it and I have his book, the only book written on MC unless someone else has written one since. He knows his stuff! I am still working on keeping it in remission! I have had some good success and then it flares again, but I count any success as a victory! 🙂 The ear is another thing entirely and I am always asking myself this silly and futile question (as if I have a choice) “Would I rather have the MC or the ear thing if I could choose.” The ear thing is the thing I would get rid of because I can control the mc by just drinking liquids for several days but the ear thing has me baffeled. Thanks for the link, Sandra. Good to know that you know about MC 🙂
        It is a rather unknown thing right now!

        • You’re welcome! I had it more than 10 years ago, that’s why I know about Pesky Farms. Cutting out gluten helped me a lot. I also don’t tolerate dairy so well, soy, and grains, and various other odd things, but the gluten made a big difference. I haven’t had a problem for many years, so there is hope! The ear thing is really a bummer, I can see why you would choose MC over that.

  2. A great lesson for me is to always believe in myself. Also, it is not necessary to have all the know-how before launching something. Conducting group coaching and healing sessions online was huge for me this year. I’m glad that I went ahead without too many excuses like needing to wait for things to be perfect.

    I think it is great to do reviews. Doing them offers the chance to reflect on what has worked or what has not worked for us. So thank you Sandra for laying out awesome questions to think about.

    Work-wise, I’m going to do things differently next year and I am excited about going on new adventures!

    • You sound like in your an adventurous and exciting period, Evelyn. These are great lessons. I’m glad you’re enjoying your experiments and they’re producing good results for you. You’re right, it so easy to put new things off because there can be a little apprehension associated with the new. I do at least. You inspire me! In the new year, I want to do some of the things I’ve been putting off.

  3. Masha

    Oh WOW these have come in just the perfect timing. I was just writing in my journal about my year and how my word “commitment” carried me, what I learned, was proud of that I have accomplished and what I didn’t. But there is much in your 18 questions that can serve as great enlightenment in reviewing further this year. So thank you.

    • Hi Masha,

      I love synchronicity! I thought I might be sharing these too early, but I know I’m already looking ahead to 2018 and there may be others like you that want to reflect on 2017 as well. I love the positive feel you have brought to your year-end review process. I hope these questions enhance your insights further.

  4. Debbie Hampton

    Thank you for these helpful resources. I will give 2017 some reflection. I think the most valuable lesson from the year is: Just keep going. Persistence and patience pay off in the end. Sure hope so!

  5. These are wonderful questions to reflect on Sandra. I had an eventful year. The birth of my daughter’s baby, my first grandson was huge. Then my son’s wedding happened in the fall, so that was very exciting also. I think the lesson I learned this year was the importance of family. The relationships we form are so important. Keeping my kids close has brought me so much joy!

    • Those are big life markers, Cathy! Seems like it was an exciting and fulfilling year. I’m glad you have such a nice connection with your children.

  6. What great questions! In reflecting on this year, it seems like the theme has been shaking things up. Things I thought were settled, aren’t. Things I thought I knew, I don’t. Things I thought weren’t possible, are. It’s like a big lesson in groundlessness. And boy, has it highlighted for me what I hold onto, what assumptions I make, where I resist, and more. I wrote about it recently using the line from Game of Thrones “You know nothing, Jon Snow” because that line has been my theme lately!!

    I am starting a daily examen practice–reflecting at the end of the day on the lessons and gifts of that day. It hasn’t settled into a routine yet, but when I take the time to do it, it is a wonderful way to end the day. I realized that I have a lot of practice focused on how I start my day, but not on how I end it.

    Thanks for the questions for reflection.

    • This is so insightful, Galen! Groundlessness is the way things are, isn’t it! But I resist. Thanks for sharing your practice of day end reflection. It sounds lovely!

  7. Love questions – what’s amazing is the better the question the more wonderful the answer…and these are winners Sandra.

    I practice contemplation every day and now I have some extra thoughts to contemplate, so thank you for the gift. 🙂

  8. Zeenat Merchant Syal

    Love your list of questions Sandra! As I read through them I found myself needing more time to think over each of them and then write my response. Will download that work book now 🙂
    And from how challenging and enlightening the year has been, I guess it was a mix bag. All lessons I’m entirely thankful for. These questions will help give me more clarity for sure.
    xoxo, Z~

    • I think it’s good to let them simmer for awhile too, Zeenat. Challenging and enlightening seem to go together, but not so easy! I’m inspired by your gratitude for the lessons.

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