• year in review questions

    ‘Tis the season where we naturally start turning our minds toward where we’ve been, and where we’re going.

    By December 31st, you will have invested 365 days of your life into the last year. How much you get out of that time – and the effect that will have on your life in in the year to come – is up to you.

    You can either say “Sayonara!” to the past year, or you can spend a little time exploring the insights it has to offer.

    Whether you see them right now or not, the past year is packed with insights you can use to create a better life. Some might be shouting so loudly you don’t need to do any work to discover them, but most of them will probably require a little excavation.

    Year-in-Review Questions

    To help with that excavation, here are 79 year-in-review questions to. (It’s probably too overwhelming to try to answer them all, so I suggest simply scanning through and exploring the ones that catch your eye.)

    1. On a scale of 1 – 10, how energized and alive have I felt?
    2. When have I felt “in the flow?”
    3. Where have I felt mired and stuck?
    4. Where did I feel like I was on track?
    5. Where did I feel like I was off track?
    6. What would I have preferred to have had more of?
    7. What would I have preferred to have had less of?
    8. What was missing?
    9. What energized me?
    10. What drained me?
    11. How did I succeed?
    12. How did I fail? What can I learn from that?
    13. Where was the abundance in my life (not just financial)?
    14. What sucked? What can I learn from that?
    15. How am I glad I spent my time?
    16. How do I regret having spent my time?
    17. What mattered?
    18. What about how I spent my time this year will matter in ten years?
    19. What did I think was my top priority this year?
    20. What did my actions and choices show was my top priority?
    21. Did my priorities reflect how I want to live my life?
    22. How have I lived in alignment with what’s really important?
    23. How have I lived out of alignment with what’s really important?
    24. If someone I don’t know were to identify what I value purely based on how I spent my time, what would they say I value?
    25. What “empty calorie” activities have consistently taken my time?
    26. Where have I been in a rut?
    27. What am I most proud of?
    28. What do I regret most?
    29. How did I make the world a better place?
    30. Whose life is better because I touched it?
    31. What do I want to consciously bring forward into the new year?
    32. What do I want to consciously let go of?
    33. How did I show up as the person I want to be?
    34. How did I show up as a person I don’t want to be?
    35. What contributed to my success (in my work / in my relationships / in my contribution to the world/etc.)?
    36. What got in the way of my success?
    37. What felt out of balance?
    38. What changes did I make for the better?
    39. What changes did I make for the worse?
    40. What am I grateful for?
    41. Who am I grateful for?
    42. Who helped me? / What support have I gotten?
    43. Who did I help? / What support have I given?
    44. On a scale of 1 – 10, how kind have I been to myself?
    45. How has my self-talk been constructive?
    46. How has my self-talk gotten in my way?
    47. How have I shown myself love?
    48. Where has fear held me back?
    49. What stories have I been telling that have been limiting me?
    50. What have I been holding on to that I need to let go?
    51. What habits limited me?
    52. What habits supported me?
    53. What excuses have I made?
    54. How have I been compromising myself?
    55. What one thing would I change that would make the biggest impact on the quality of my life?
    56. What felt meaningful?
    57. What worries did I experience about things that never actually existed?
    58. What help did I need that I didn’t reach out for?
    59. What risks did I take? How did I step outside my comfort zone?
    60. What risks do I wish I had taken?
    61. What did I try that was new?
    62. How did the year contribute to where I want to be in 20 years?
    63. How did I invest in my future?
    64. How much did I laugh?
    65. What lessons stand out from my experiences this year?
    66. How have I lived from the heart?
    67. When have I felt at peace?
    68. When have I felt tension?
    69. The best thing about this year was ________.
    70. The worst thing about this year was ________.
    71. What advice would I give my last-year self based on what you learned and experienced this year?
    72. What inspired and motivated me?
    73. How did I challenge myself?
    74. Did I need to focus more on my own needs or the needs of others (or was the balance just right)?
    75. How did the people I spent most of my time with contribute to who I want to become and what I want to achieve?
    76. How did the people I spent most of my time with detract from who I want to become and what I want to achieve?
    77. What did I think was important that really wasn’t?
    78. What did I think wasn’t important that really was?
    79. What insights from this year do I want to build on next year?

    Month-in-Review Experiment

    Here’s a great experiment for the coming year. Instead of waiting until the end of December to do your in-review exploration, make it a monthly habit. At the end of each month, scan back and, using these questions as a starting point, explore what there is to learn.

    Then apply what you learn in the month to come. Make a change. Head your bad habits off at the past. Cultivate a new habit. Stop something. Begin something.

    Who knows what positive change that might unlock? And you don’t have to wait till the end of the year for it to happen!

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