As we draw closer to the end of another year, it is extremely beneficial to pause and reflect back on the year gone by. Usually on the last day of the year, television channels will show the main highlights and lowlights of the year from a news perspective.
It is always fascinating to see all the things that made the news during the year so it makes a lot of sense for us to reflect on our highlights and lowlights as well. The process itself can take between 30 minutes to an hour as outlined in this post.
While the process itself is easy, the reasons for reviewing our year are important. The more we’re able to understand the benefits of reviewing our year, the higher the probability we’ll actually do it. Here are five reasons why reviewing your year can set you up for more success next year.
- It makes us reflect on what worked and what didn’t work. Very rarely does everything go as planned or work out the way we want them to. By reflecting on the things we did well, we can use that as motivation to continue doing them again next year. By reflecting on what we didn’t do as well, we can start identifying the reasons why they happened and put things in place to ensure we don’t repeat again them next year.
- It helps us identify areas of our life that needs more attention. For example, one area that I wasn’t particularly consistent with during the year was exercising regularly. That has resulted in me gaining weight that I do not want! As a result, I have recommitted to getting back on track with my health goals and have already started taking action toward those goals. Reviewing our year will identify patterns, trends or themes that played out and we will have the opportunity to do something about it.
- We can easily eliminate things from our life. Oftentimes, we start the year with renewed enthusiasm and take on more things than we’re able to handle. When we review our year, for the things we didn’t get to or didn’t get done, we have the choice to simply eliminate them if they’re no longer important to us or no longer in our best interest. Just the act of letting things go can be very freeing and help us focus on the things that are truly important to us.
- We can look at our life with a long term perspective. It’s so easy to get caught up in the New Year’s resolution fad and be very short term focused. Reviewing our year forces us to ask questions about our life, where we currently are and why, and where do we ultimately want to be. If, for example, you identify certain themes keep recurring, you then can determine whether those themes are moving you closer to where you want to go or taking you further away from where you want to go. Reviewing our year allows us to consider different facets of our life and reconnect to our overall life purpose or mission.
- We can declare our year complete. One of the mistakes I have made in the past is to drag things that were no longer serving me or incomplete into the next year, which meant that I still had the same issues lingering over me. This resulted in unnecessary stress or angst, and also took my attention away from the things I wanted to focus on. In the Cycle of Completion, the last step of the cycle is Complete, which means that we need to acknowledge something as complete otherwise we will still be giving it mental energy. Typically when I review my year, the last thing I do is to say to myself, “I declare this year complete.” That means I am starting the New Year fresh and with a clean slate.
Very few people are intentional about the life they want to create therefore they won’t even consider spending a short amount of time reviewing their year. The fact that you’re reading this says that you’re not one of them and you have a desire to continually improve yourself. Congratulations and I really do encourage you to take the time and review your year.
Question: How has reviewing your year been beneficial to you?
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