Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Tag: Year End Review

How to Capture Your Most Important 2016 Life Lessons {+ Free Workbook}

Your Personal Year-End Review w/ FREE Workbook

I created the following 18 questions to help you capture your life lessons from 2016 and confidently move into the new year.  This simple practice of year-end reflection and integration is a powerful way to become more aligned with your true self each and every year.

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 spot the sticky 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.  Download the FREE Your Year In Review 2016 Workbook to record your answers.  Set the  questions aside if you begin to feel tired or like it’s too much.  Let them percolate for awhile.  Then come back to them again when you feel ready to explore more.

Ready to begin?

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16 Questions to Help You End the Year Well

Dandeloins - Year End Review

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.

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7 Life Lessons for a Brighter New Year

Arizona Sunrise

The Cycles of Life

Life runs in cycles. Peaceful periods give way to challenging times, which then melt into another emotional color until that one changes too. These cycles occur over minutes, weeks, months and years.

Greater peace of mind arrives when we accept that life will always be changing, and we’ll never truly know what will happen next.

At the same time, consolidating our life lessons builds our resilience so we can meet the cycles of life with greater joy and ease.  That’s precisely why I place value in a year-end review and the lessons that emerge from engaging with the right questions.

Some of my life lessons from last year were practical and some were profound.  Here are the most important lessons I learned.

1. Don’t Expect to Arrive

I didn’t expect to be waylaid by two months of bronchitis or two weeks of flat out back pain. I didn’t expect to receive new genetic information that changed my treatment plan and possible outcomes.

Life will surprise you. Whatever arises, try to take it in stride without labeling it “good” or “bad” or clinging to it as the final destination.  Don’t aim for a happy ending that never changes.

You can find greater peace and happiness by having this bigger perspective; not by expecting life to stay the same.

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15 Compelling Questions to Enrich Your 2013 Personal Review

Twilight Over Lake

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

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