As the year comes to a close, I’ve been receiving numbers of great emails from my writer friends and colleagues who have taken the time to provide a fascinating summary of their 10 most successful and popular posts. I’m enjoying reading these posts, but in honor of this coming year, I’d like to try something a bit different that I hope will be helpful.
I’d like to suggest that we all do this one thing by New Year’s eve: instead of making empty resolutions that often bear no meaningful fruit, why not spend an hour quietly, with ourselves, and conduct our own honest, probing and insightful “year in review.” Let’s look back with eyes wide open, so we can see what’s happened clearly, and use those insights to fuel a happier, more fulfilling and fruitful life.
What would be helpful to explore in your “Year in Review” exercise?
Here’s the list of important questions I’m going to explore and answer about last year (and the upcoming one) as I embark on my critical review. I’m going to look as honestly and courageously as I can at what went very well in my life and work last year, what didn’t go well, what I’m proud of, what I deeply regret, and what I wish to bring forward in my life in a bigger way.
Perhaps you’d like to answer these questions as well:
What’s been the best?
1. What are you most proud in terms of what you achieved, accomplished or brought into being this year – in life and work?
2. What did these achievements or actions in turn make possible – for you, your family, your organization, your financial situation, and your health and well-being, for others?
3. What makes you smile just to think about it today?
What’s been the hardest?
4. What event or experience represented the “worst” of the year, and why exactly?
5. What action(s) did you take that you want to eradicate from your behavior forever?
6. What makes you feel ashamed and “less than,” or even toxic to others?
7. What brings tears of unhappiness and regret to your eyes when you think about it?
What do you want to accentuate and amplify in your life next year?
8. What outcomes or achievements do you want to build on next year?
9. What parts of yourself do you wish to expand and strengthen?
10. What role models and supportive people will you find to help you, and how?
Who has been most helpful?
11. Who are the top three helpers whom you’d like to knowledge?
12. Who has gone above and beyond in their efforts to assist you in a goal or important outcome?
Who needs to be chucked from your life?
13. Who has been terribly unsupportive or nasty to you, and needs to be let go of if you’re going to move forward the way you long to?
What are your top priorities?
14. What priorities did you honor well in 2014?
15. What priorities did you turn your back on?
16. What new priorities have emerged for you this year that you are committed to honoring?
What are your exciting stretch goals?
17. What goals did you set for yourself in 2014 that you met?
18. What important goals did you fail to achieve, and why?
19. What new stretch goals can you set that will be juicy, compelling and fulfilling to reach?
Knowing all this, what is your highest vision of your future self?
20. Who do you wish to connect with, and build stronger, more loving relationships with?
21. Finally, who do you want to become in 2015?
To me, there’s nothing more discouraging than believing you’ll do something important in the coming year, then failing miserably and having no clue why. Make 2015 the year you get clearer on what’s happening in your life, and the reasons behind it (obviously, it’s not all random – we’re co-creating what’s happening). Take some concrete steps to bring about the changes you long for most in your life and work, and make these changes stick. Let this year be a year you look back on and say, “Finally! I’m becoming the person I’ve dreamed of being.”
Here’s to an amazing 2015 to you.