Do you have any end of the year rituals?
A way to gather your experiences, crystallize your memories, celebrate milestones and integrate your growth?
If you don’t or you are looking for ways to enhance your end of year reflections, we have a couple of prompts for you!
The new year is right around the corner and your mental health is a priority as you transition from this year to next.
We discussed 3 ways you can support your mental health in the new year HERE. If you’re ready to move forward in a positive way, reflecting on the past year is a crucial first step.
What did you accomplish this year?
Look at what you set out to accomplish and what you did do on that list. Also look at what you didn’t expect to accomplish and you were able to do.
You will hear from lots of different sources (especially this time of the year) that you need to set goals and follow a plan to achieve those goals. But not everyone works that way, and that’s okay!
If what you accomplished turned out to be even more in alignment and more valuable than what you set out to accomplish, that should be counted as a win!
So take this as an opportunity to see what was more valuable for you – What you planned and successfully executed or what spontaneously came up that you accomplished because it was aligned? Maybe for you this year, it was a mix of both. However it turned out, let that inform your vision for the year ahead.
Set goals and follow an action plan if that’s what was most effective, or create a broad vision, set intentions, create space and set check in points to review your direction. Or a mix!
When you are completing your assessment of your accomplishments, determine if any of your successes include milestones. Examples could include a financial milestone, a developmental milestone, a relationship milestone, etc. If you did reach a milestone then celebrate that, it’s a great thing that you should be proud of!
What did you learn this year?
There are always things that don’t go your way each year; look specifically at what you learned from those things. Those lessons are important and you want to try and glean as many positives from them that you can.
Ask yourself if there is anything you would want “future you” to know if you encountered any of those moments in the year to come. One year I learned so much about how I handled the holidays that I recorded a note for myself then set a reminder for November 1st to listen to my voice note to remind myself of what I learned, so I could handle the next holiday season better. It changed my entire holiday experience the following year!
It is so helpful to reflect on all of the significant events and moments, whether positive or negative, and evaluate how it changed you and what it taught you about yourself, about other people or about the world around you.
What do you want to remember from this year when you look back 5, 10, 15 years from now?
This is an opportunity to crystallize your memories and the most important things that have happened this year. If you keep a journal, you may want to summarize the highlights of the year in your last entry of the year; then you can always look back and see what the most important moments were to you from your perspective when you were living it.
This is also a great question to ask yourself when you are in the middle of an experience: What story do I want to tell about this? Instead of it being a moment you “survived”, “got through ” or “freaked out about”, what if it is remembered as a moment you were proud of and you wanted to tell the story about later?
This would be great to do around the table at a family dinner. You can write down what each person shares as the moments they want to remember from that year or, if you don’t love writing things down, you can record each person’s answer; then review it when you do it again next year to see how far you’ve come! It can become a family keepsake for years to come and a very special tradition that you can all share and pass on to the younger generations.
What other questions do you ask yourself in your year end reflections?
If you don’t know where to start with your end of year reflection, try these 25 End of Year Reflection Questions from developgoodhabits.com. (Develop Good Habits | 25 End of Year Reflection Questions to Review Your 2022 Year | November 13, 2022 by Connie Mathers). They will prompt you to take a deeper look into your life over the last year for a thorough reflection.