How do you review your year? What are the best end of year reflection questions?
‘Tis the season of contemplation and reflection. Can you feel it?
There’s no better time of year than the end of the year, to take time to sit and reflect. Especially with a year like 2023!
To figure out and remember the highs and lows, and everything in between. Not just for the sake of reviewing, but for the sake of successfully moving forward. I know 2023 was a mess, but there were still good, still moments of joy to be found.
I’m not talking about giving it a quick ranking out of ten or the time you’ve been spending wishing that this year was just over already.
So many of us commit to writing off the previous year as a failure, to focus on the new year, but without actually learning anything. This is a major mistake.
What went right, what went wrong, and what just went? Was it epic? Or more or less like any other year? Did you achieve everything you’d hoped? Or did things go not so great?
You need to know! And it’s okay either way – the good, the bad, and the ugly provide learning opportunities.
You don’t have to wait until for the calendar to roll over for you to take stock of your year and chart a new course. You decide when you’re starting over or moving onto a new chapter in your life. Let today (no matter what date it is) be your New Year!
We should review and readjust constantly and NOT wait for things to be falling apart or being at the end of our rope to look down and realize we need to go in a new direction.
Plus, get your FREE Review Your Year Workbook with the ten essential questions you need to ask yourself about your last year BEFORE you start planning for your next. Yup, you have permission to look back just this once, and then move onto greater things.
Ugh, Why Bother Reviewing Your Year?
It’s too easy just to dismiss the year and cheer for its end.
Like serious, “wake me up when it’s over. Nevermind, I’ll just set an alarm.” Have you seen the memes yet?
Trust me, I’ve been that person countless times. The middle of the year approaches or even it could be as early as February and I’ve already written off the year.
Or even worse, just focus on what you didn’t achieve, where you fell short, why you didn’t achieve your goals and all the disappointments along the way.
What is it about “the bad” that sticks in our minds more than “the good”?
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Either way, all things are relative. It’s how we react in these moments and remember the memories that matter. And that’s up to you.
You have the power to write your own story about last year. You have a choice to make:
- To look back at your year with kindness and treasure your victories no matter how small or fragile they may be.
- Or you can choose to just “start over” without learning from the past year.
What inventor would just throw away precious data or prototypes from previous trials and errors? That’s just bonkers.
If Thomas Edison can say this, you can too: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
The Time to Audit Your Year is Now
Now, like TODAY, is the time to decide where you’ll be one year from now, or even where you’ll be tomorrow or next month. Will you be building on the momentum you’ve created or be frustrated to find yourself in the same spot (yet again)?
Are you tired of feeling like you’re not making progress?
If you’re frustrated and maybe even a little pissed off about this year, use that.
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Don’t let that emotion, that passion for change go unused. If you feel disappointed, angry, or even ashamed, it’s okay, as long as you use these feelings to take action.
Turn these emotions into your jet fuel for your commitment and motivation to make it happen next year.
And don’t wait for the calendar to flip over for you to start, just start now.
“Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.” – Jack Ma
7 Reasons To Review Your Year:
You need to review your year before you plan the next for many reasons. And yes, even better you think of New Year’s Resolution ideas or set goals for the New Year.
At the top of that list is that it feels good and it’s a positive step for your self-growth and your own personal development.
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Without reflection, there is no self-awareness and no evolution.
How can we do better, be a better person, if we haven’t learned anything about ourselves?
Here are 7 reasons to do a personal year-end review.
#1. To Help You Look Back With Kindness
You really are your worst critic, so please don’t be negative or judge yourself. Let’s push the negative self-talk aside.
Try your best to be positive no matter what happened last year. To choose to look on the bright side and see that rainbow after a storm.
You have to look back with kindness. Don’t focus on your “mistakes” or the stupid things you did, instead be kind, and love yourself.
Everything is a learning opportunity, and a chance to do things differently next time, or the time after that, or even yes, the time after that.
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#2. To Remember the Lessons You’ve Learned
Every experience can be a teaching moment if you let it. If you go deeper than the surface emotions, or maybe frustration, embarrassment, or even anger, to look for the lesson.
I’m no stranger to making stupid mistakes, but I’ve learned to learn and laugh at them. Being able to laugh in the face of a blunder steals back the power these moments have over you.
Did you have an “ah-ha moment”?
Did you have an epiphany or revelation about something about yourself, your life, your circumstances, your future, your dreams, and so on?
A moment where everything is so clear when something finally clicks and you just get it.
It’s usually a lesson that you’re brought back to or proven true through multiple incidents or even linked to some good advice someone gave you.
#3. To Celebrate Your Achievements
(No Matter How Small)
Unless you’ve kept track of everything that happened this year, you’ve likely forgotten just how much has happened.
Our minds have this tendency to remember the bad, yet lose track of the good.
What have you accomplished? What success have you had?
Remember, you get to define your success in your own words.
Your accomplishments and successes are your own. No one (but you) can diminish them or take them away from you.
You decide what’s a victory. So, what are you proud of?
Did you have an amazing achievement? Something that excited you?
Anything that made you feel so proud and accomplished? Did you achieve your goals?
#4. To Choose the Right Resolution and Goals
No matter how big or small, every resolution, goal, or even dream seeks to resolve something about your life you’d like to change.
What’s keeping you up late at night? Do you complain about one thing a lot?
What drives you nuts? What area of your life is just falling apart?
And even, what are you afraid of?
On the flip side, what inspires and drives you?
What gets you out of bed in the morning and keeps you working late at night?
You need to know.
Find your pain (or pleasure), that’s where a good resolution or goal can be found.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: How to Choose the Right New Year's Resolution
#5. To Create the Best Plan for Next Year
You need a strategic plan for achieving your goals next year.
A major part of creating the best goals plan is understanding your strengths and your weaknesses. Knowing the areas where you need help and support in.
The best way to figure that out is to identify your existing challenges.
Why did you or didn’t you achieve your last goals and resolution?
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Getting it done relies on a balance of having a larger vision or resolution, specific goals, and a very immediate tactical plan.
Basically, where you want to be in a year, the benchmark goals you need to fit to get there, and the tasks you need to complete daily or weekly.
So, what’s your plan for the new year?
#6. To Figure Out What Worked and What Didn’t
Toward the end of the year we can get this mentality of “ugh, nothing is working.” As if we’re beating our heads against the wall, frantic that nothing we’ve done has helped us achieve our goals.
That just not true! It’s impossible actually.
Even failures, goal setting mistakes, and problems can teach you how to do better.
If you’ve been having a rotten go at it, and things have been challenging, it’s okay! You can always learn something valuable from that.
According to the original 80-20 rule, only about 20% of what we do makes a difference.
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I repeat, no matter who you are, 20% of your actions lead to 80% of your success.
You need to figure out what your 20% is, so you can stop wasting your time.
Bottom line, one of the main reasons to review your year is to figure out what worked and what didn’t work. So you can optimize your approach in the New Year.
Just imagine how much time you’ll save, how much more productive you’ll be if you only did what worked.
#7. To Build Momentum in the New Year
Quick question, do you feel like you’re making progress? Or does the process of achieving your goals just feel slow?
Like you’ve gotten started, and you’re working hard but nothing is happening?
Have you lost motivation and do you feel like giving up? Please, be honest with yourself.
If this sounds like you, the problem isn’t that you’re not making progress, the problem is you can’t see your success. And it’s there, you just have to know how to look.
When we’re focused on BIG, like changing events, we often miss the small changes that make a big difference.
It’s the smallest actions that can lead to big results. Don’t be discouraged, instead, change your focus.
Stop looking at the outcome of your goals, and instead look at the actions, habits, and small steps you are making. They are your building blocks for success.
Even if that action seems insignificant, I promise you it isn’t. Keep doing those actions and tiny habits, they teach you how to be successful.
One small habit can build amazing momentum in the New Year. If you’re patient and if you let it snowball.
Answer Year-End Review Questions
How do you feel about last year?
What were your greatest hits?
These questions aren’t exactly easy for you to answer and require some reflection, but they are essential to making next year, your year.
Warning, they may also be a bit uncomfortable to answer as well, but push through.
Be brave, look yourself in the eyes, and have an honest conversation with yourself – an exercise that is probably one of the most important actions you can get accustomed to doing.
Sometimes it’s scary asking these questions when it’s so much easier to just ignore the truth and shrug off the emotions. Just change the channel and think about something else.
“Whatever,” right? Not so much.
Do it anyway. It’s time to say goodbye to 2023, and welcome 2024 with open arms.
It’s just you with you, no one’s judging or reading your responses.Have you reviewed your year as yet? You really should before you start planning next year. Get your FREE 10-question Review Your Year Workbook here.
How will you review your year?
Last Updated on December 15, 2023