Happy 2021!! I think we can all agree that 2020 has been a year to remember. Covid-19 literally stopped everything and we had to deal with stay-at-home orders, quarantines, travel bans, remote learning, mask-wearing, social distancing, toilet paper shortages, wild-fires, civil unrest, conspiracy theories, plus it was all during an election year! We even had a scare with new killer bees called “murder hornets”. Needless to say, we have had a rough year. It would be easy to dwell on everything we haven’t been able to do; however, we’ve had some positive highlights too. It’s important as we start a new year to reflect on both the highs and lows of our year for us to improve and grow. I found that some families had more time together to re-connect. Over the spring and summer, I saw families walking, biking, or playing outside together. Other highlights include animal shelters saw a surplus of adoptions and major companies came together to help manufacture mass PPE supplies. We also learned how invaluable our teachers are as families dealt with different ways to teach children at home. Our appreciation for teachers, healthcare workers, grocery store workers, and all frontline workers grew immensely. Drive-by parades, parties, and graduations become a way to celebrate special occasions as we all learned to adapt to Covid-19 life. Even though 2020 has been stressful, we still found ways to shine a light on the situation and be there for each other.
The end of the year always excites me. Not just because of the holiday spirit but because I find myself pausing during this time to reflect on the year and think of my own highs and lows. Time goes by way too fast to not take some time to think about our achievements and, if we want to grow, on our failures.
Below are some questions that I ask myself in order to reflect on my year. These question help guide my reflection and makes it easier to start. Over the years, I’ve written down my answers, typed them out, or just answer them out loud to myself. Just taking a few minutes out of my day to reflect on life’s moments brings a lot of joy and gratitude.
- The most important goal that I achieved this year was:
- Some skills that I acquired this year are:
- This year, I learned the following about myself:
- A challenge that I overcame this year is:
- The most fun thing that I did this year was:
- My biggest regret this year was:
- The best memory I had this year was:
- The books that I read this year are:
- My favorite movie of the year was:
- The best thing that I bought this year was:
- I adopted this positive habit:
- I dropped this negative habit:
- My most common mental state this year was:
- I grew emotionally this year by:
- I grew spiritually this year by:
- If I could change one thing about this year it would be:
- This year my physical health was:
- This year I broke out of my comfort zone by:
- This year I practiced self-care by:
- This year I am most grateful for:
- The nicest thing I did for someone this year was:
- The nicest thing someone did for me this year was:
- Something I created this year was:
- One contribution I made to my community this year was:
- If I could travel back to the beginning of the year, here is some advice I would give myself:
I usually like to type out my answers so I can look back the following year; however, a friend recently suggested to me to write them out in a letter. She went on to say that she writes a letter to herself every new year’s eve and opens it the following new year’s eve. She recaps her year; the ups, the downs, the happy, the sad, etc. Anything that stands out to her and whatever she would like to achieve in the new year. She writes it all down and seals it away until the next year. She told me that she’s been doing this for a while now, and that she has a written time capsule of her life’s biggest moments. I absolutely love this idea and thought it’d be a good idea to combine her heartwarming letter writing with my end of year reflections.
You can take the questions listed above to help center your letters around them or use your own questions. Whatever you prefer. I’d recommend adding some goals and new habits that you would like to achieve in the new year. That way, you can compare your answers and see your growth over time. It is super important for us to keep in touch with ourselves and this is one way you can do that. I couldn’t think of a better way to start the new year!!