Every year at this time, I engage in an intentional process of reflection. It really helps me take stock of the lessons I learned and guides the intentions and goals I set for the next year. I’ll share with you my process in case you find it helpful in crafting your own. This process can be for both professional and personal development.
My annual tradition is to start a new notebook or journal on January 1st and I write my intentions and goals for the year. As the year comes to an end, I am able to not only see my progress but I can reflect on the challenges I faced, lessons I learned, and moments where I really shined.
So the first part of my process is to get my outgoing journal and skim through it, noting themes that I see over time. Next, I use a set of questions that guide my year-end reflection (to be done on the last pages of the outgoing journal).
Questions to Reflect on 2014
- What has been the underlying, unifying theme of your year? 2014 has been the year of…
- Were there any experiences or symbols that seem to represent the whole?
- What are your 8 greatest successes of 2014? (it’s OK to have more than 8…)
- What was a key challenge of this year and what did you discover about yourself in meeting this challenge? What gifts were received?
- What three people had the greatest impact in your life this year? How has their presence affected you?
- What are three key lessons you’ve learned through your experiences in 2014?
- What are some of the most joyful moments of 2014? What made them so positive and can you bring more of that into 2015?
- What “risks” (taking action though fear is present) did you take this year and what greater freedom did you discover in the process? What did you learn about yourself?
- Is there anyone whom you need to forgive? Forgive means to release the judgment and blame that causes you stress or upset. Who is it? What quality do you need to forgive them for? Can you find that same quality within yourself to any degree (your mirror) and love yourself anyway?
- In what key ways have you been of greater service to your human family this year?
What are you most grateful for from 2014? They could people, experiences, gifts, conditions, awarenesses, etcetera.
Looking Ahead to 2015
- As you stand upon the firm foundation of all the learnings, shifts, and insights of 2014, what wise counsel would you give yourself as you move into 2015?
- Now, articulate your intentions and goals for 2015. Consider having at least one for different parts of your life (work/career, family, health, creativity, etc.). You may wish to write these in your journal, and post them in various places (home, car, desk, wallet, etc.). where they will remind you of your focus.
- If you wish, you can also create a vision board for 2015. I find vision boards to be really helpful in keeping me focused. You can learn more here.
I do this reflection activity alone but then share my lessons and goals with my closest friends, and they share theirs. We then support each other throughout the year in staying focused, moving through challenges, and celebrating our successes.