2021 in Review
Why you should reflect on the past year
In just about 2 weeks we are saying goodbye to the old and welcome the new year, and again we are asking ourselves: where has the time gone? In order to reflect entirely on the year past, take a little time and review the last twelve months. In today’s blog, you can find out why you should do this and what you get out of it.
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As the year is drawing to a close, by the end of the year some are starting to wonder about how the year went. Take some time for yourself and look back in more detail how your year went. On one hand, you can remember all the beautiful moments and on the other, the annual review helps you to find out what you want to change in the future and how you can continue to grow and develop yourself personally.
If that’s you, check out these tips on how you can reflect on the year for yourself.
Review of different areas in your life
When you look back on your year, take each month from January to December individually and reflect on it. If you need a little help with your memory, then take a look at your photos or browse through your chat history. This will get your memory back on its feet. You can also blast your favorite playlist. Have a few special songs made or shaped some of your experiences? I am sure, you will be able to remember some of the moments that you did not have on your radar at first.
For your review, take a look at these areas:
Health and Body
Job and Finances
Hobbies and Free Time
You probably think to yourself first: Phew, what should I write there? I just don't know! You don't have to write down everything at once and you can add to it when you’ve thought of something else. But don't just write anything to simply fill the pages. After all, you want to productively reflect on your year and shouldn't just dwell on nice memories at the end. Your annual review of the past year will also help you with how you start the next year.
At first, we concentrate fully on the past, before we draw our conclusions and start the new year motivated. Here a few ideas, what you can write down, for example, including an explanation to what you can expect to get out of it.
Here you can think about what you have learned about yourself this year, in which areas you have grown or what motivated and pushed you. Here, for example, you can write, that you were less angry, lived more mindfully or took some training to advance yourself or your career. You may also have had a great idea that you were able to realize or are still planning to do.
Health and Body
How was your well-being during the year? Don't just think about your physical health, but also your mental health. What made you happy or proud? Here, you can write down that you felt fit and energetic all year, for example, or document your achievements and successes, such as that you ran a 5K for the first time, achieved your highest number of steps, or lost or gained x pounds.
In social contacts you can write down which person was especially important to you, supported you, gave you energy or with whom you experienced something beautiful. This can be someone from your family, a friend, or your partner. But maybe a complete stranger has paid you a nice compliment that you are proud of. If the person is someone from your circle of acquaintances, do not just write the name there, but also short bullet points about this great moment or where the person helped you.
Job and Finances
Did you start a new job or get a promotion this year? Congratulations! But also appreciate the little things that have happened to you in your professional career. Did you give a good lecture, successfully completed a project, learned a new skill, or contributed to another success? Perhaps you work in social care, and, for example, helped a person get well again or were able to motivate them to do something. Or are you studying and got a good grade for an exam?
What have you done with the money you have earned? Was it a great event that you attended, a relaxing vacation or a restaurant you enjoyed? When we think of finances, it is often associated with something negative, and we complain about high costs. But see it positively. What nice things were you able to afford with it? Try to remember how you felt when you had a positive experience.
Hobbies and Free Time
There are all sorts of hobbies and leisure opportunities. Which experience concerning this area of your life do you remember especially positively and why? Are you in a club and your team won a match? Did you go on a nice trip or just had a particularly good evening and a great chat with a friend?
The annual review brings you all that
Now why all this? The annual review helps you to concentrate on your positive experiences and successes and supports you to have a positive attitude towards life. Sometimes negative events remain in our heads for so long that we’re upset about something for weeks, even months. With the positive things in our life, the feeling usually fades much faster. If you bring your beautiful experiences back into your consciousness and are grateful for them, this not only increases your well-being, but you also look more positively and motivated into the future.
The annual review is about concentrating on the good things you experienced. Bring them to the surface and make the positive things visible for you. At the end, you will see a reflection of the different areas of life and in which direction your life is headed.
“Life isn’t always rosy”: look back at the less successful things
Of course, there are also things in our lives that probably didn't go so well. You may even have had a tough time. Also write these things down, but on a separate piece of paper. What things were you really angry or upset about? Why did you get annoyed about it? In retrospect, was it unnecessary because you might have taken it too personal?
Now, as your next step, on another piece of paper you write down what you can do better and what you want to change - nothing has to be impossible. It is well known that everyone is the maker of their own happiness. A positive attitude is the first path to improvement. Too often, we limit ourselves with negative thoughts and self-doubt, which prevents us from moving forward.
Review: End the year with a ritual
You can then introduce a little ritual at the end of the year. Take the paper with your negative experiences and things that bother you. You can then burn or tear up this piece of paper, for example. This can help you to free yourself from the negative things, to let go and to make room for new and positive thoughts or projects.
Of course, you should keep the positive things from your annual review. To do this, you can put the notes in an envelope or keep them handy somewhere else. If at some point you catch yourself talking badly or not feeling well, you can pull out your notes and cheer yourself up.
Pull back for the New Year!
Usually, people wait until the new year to start anything instead of starting at the best time to start: NOW!
If we could just pull ourselves back in the sense of doing what we need to do now to excel in the new year, well, we may be proud of how far we’ve gotten come March and April when others realize they’re better off just giving up.
When I say pull back, I mean pull yourself back like you would a slingshot.
With a thorough assessment of your annual review, you can pull back on that slingshot to put an end to all negative things and leave them behind. Now you can say goodbye to the old and welcome the new year with a good feeling by focusing on the positive in your life. You have experienced great things, you have been able to experience successes and even if it did not always go well, you have gained great insights and learned a lot. Now you know what you can do even better in the new year and what you can work on. You can be proud of all of this; and you don't have to have invented a rocket ship. Be grateful for everything that happened this year and look back with a smile, so you look forward to what is to come.
How to deal with setting yourself up for success in the new year and lead a happy family life, I will show you in my upcoming podcast.
For now, I wish you a wonderful and joyous holiday season!
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