Year-end reflection

How To Do a Year-End Reflection [Make Peace With 2020]

The old year is drawing to a close and the fresh promise of a new one is just around the corner. Before rushing through the end of another year and into January,  take the time to do a year-end reflection! As eager as we all are to leave 2020 behind, it was an important year. 

A year-end reflection is crucial to making the most of the important transition from one year to the next!  

Check Out the Whole Series!

This is the first week of our 8-week series on getting ready for the new year. This week is all about reflecting on the year that has passed. You can check out the other posts here:

How to do a year-end reflection

Close Out 2020 + Move Into 2021 With Clarity

Want to dive deeper? Get the workbook: As The Year Turns: A Year-End Reflection + Planning Workbook

This workbook will help you dig deep, look mindfully at your journey over the past year, think about where you’re heading, and start the new year in alignment with your dream life!

Get the workbook

The Importance of a Year-End Reflection

2020 was not a great year for most of us. Maybe you can’t wait for it to be over. Maybe you feel like you’d rather just pretend it never happened. Why bother reliving such a miserable period of time?

It’s true, 2020 has been (at best) stressful and exhausting and unreal. It has been a long and significant year. Period. You’ve had to make adaptations to your life that you never dreamed would be necessary.

But even if you had a terrible year, you made it! You are sitting here reading this, at the end of 2020. No matter how awful of a year it was, you are here, still standing, and looking forward hopefully to the future.

As ready as you are to leave 2020 behind, take the time to process what a momentous year it has been. Trying to forget it won’t erase everything that happened. Your suffering and hard work and perseverance deserve recognition!

You made it!

Honoring the Past Year

The first step in a mindful transition is to honor what is passing. And we honor the past year and your past self with a year-end reflection. 

Set aside the time to review your past year, evaluate your successes and your failures, and get clarity on where you are and the progress you have made. 

Maybe you had a great year! Maybe it was a struggle (and let’s be honest, 2020 has been a struggle for a lot of us) and you’re grasping for positive things to hold on to.

But seriously, think about everything that has happened over the past year. It was A LOT! You adapted. You made it! You ENDURED. Celebrate that! 

“Reflective thinking turns experience into insight.” John C. Maxwell

Turn experience into insight

How To Do a Year-End Reflection

The first step in moving mindfully from one year to the next is to hold space for remembering what happened and what the year meant to you. 

Get out a blank sheet of paper (without lines is best). Think back over the last year. I know, it was a doozy! As you are looking back over your year, look for:

  • Big events
  • Good things
  • Bad things
  • Accomplishments
  • Struggles
  • Moments of joy
  • Losses
  • Lessons
  • Gifts 

You can make a neat list or scatter them all over the page – whatever feels good to you.

Whew! A lot can happen in a year!

Now fill out the rest of the sheet with anything else coming to mind as you think back:

  • Words
  • Phrases
  • Names
  • Emotions
  • Thoughts
  • Realizations

You can also add drawings if that feels right!

And that’s it for this week! This is not a dissection; it is a REFLECTION. Don’t worry about trying to make sense of it or find a deeper meaning or anything. Just get it out! Put it all out on that piece of paper.

Next week we’ll mindfully release everything that is not supporting us as we look to move out of 2020. Share this post with your friends and work through the series together!

Get the workbook!
Dive deeper with As The Year Turns: a Year-End Reflection + Planning Workbook

If you had to pick one word to describe 2020, what would it be? Leave it in the comments below!

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