If you celebrate the new year in any way, consider making this short questionnaire your empowering and enlightening year in review process.
“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.” – Margaret Wheatley
Sometimes we just need to talk about things, to ask questions and to answer them, because we need the truth of things to hit the air. In doing so, the negative stories we tell ourselves lose their power and we can replace them with kinder stories that uplift us.
When we show compassion toward ourselves, we bring the shadows into the light, and we start to be able to highlight the good times, the lessons, and the love from our past.
With reflection, we can see more clearly the things that matter to us and how we can reconnect to our innermost intentions.
Life can be tough, but it’s also full of beautiful things worthy of acknowledgment. It’s a journey of steps, and each step we take holds its own glorious capacity to teach us something, to open our eyes, and to wake us up so we can show up with more purpose and presence.
As a new year approaches, try asking yourself these three powerful questions, inspired by Marie Forleo’s video (which I suggest watching). Let your year in review take on the shape of joy and hope this time around. These questions can help.
3 Empowering Year in Review Questions to Ask Yourself
What did I do, create, or experience this year that I’m really proud of?
“Your life is your journey. Own every step you take.” – Rae Smith
What big or little things did you make happen?
When we’re too critical of ourselves, we head into each new year carrying Defeat on our shoulders. Instead, flip through your calendar (physical or mental) to see the projects you finished, the motivation you ignited, the experiences you owned, the things you made, the people you loved well, etc.
As Marie mentions in her video, you’ll have something positive to talk about when someone asks you how your year was. You’ll have happy moments in the forefront of your mind and fruitful endeavors to focus on, which is much better than thinking the entire year was wasted (it wasn’t).
What mistakes did I make that taught me something?
“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” – George Bernard Shaw
When a mistake is fresh, it’s hard to step back and take an aerial view of the situation without beating yourself up. But, with a little time, distance, and perspective, we can spot a lesson (a growth opportunity) without shame or judgment looming over our heads.
In December, we’re better able to have a broadened view and we can be objective, asking ourselves:
- What things didn’t go so well?
- What lessons did I learn that I can leverage?
- How can I do better next time?
- How can I use it to grow into a better and wiser person?
What am I willing to let go of?
“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.” – C. JoyBell C.
There’s usually something that’s holding us back from being who we could be. Maybe it’s a project or a goal (even last year’s resolution) that’s stagnant and lingering, and it’s something we don’t feel connected to anymore.
If something is no longer aligned with who you are right now, who you want to be in the future, or where you want to go, get willing to let go of it.
Then take this year in review practice inside, asking yourself:
- What resentments, angers, hurts, guilt, shame, or embarrassment have I been hanging on to and are willing to let go of?
- What stories am I telling myself that are no longer serving me?
- Who could I be if I let go of what wasn’t me?
- What did you do, create, or experience this year that you’re proud of?
- What did you learn from your mistakes?
- What story are you willing to let go of?
Please share your answers, insights, lessons, hopes, stories, or your year in review with me in the comments.
Share these year in review questions with someone who could use some inspiration and love.
May you find the courage to face your mistakes with compassion, the strength to let go of what no longer serves you, and the grace to enjoy the little steps along the way.
Free graphic by We Lived Happily Ever After; lettering by Aim Happy.