As we come to the end of one year and the beginning of another, quotes from two of pop-culture’s great philosophers come to mind. Yogi Berra famously said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up somewhere else.” The other comes from the great fictional mind of Ferris Bueller who said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Our lives do move fast and it is easy to move from one day to another and one year to another passively watching the calendar days disappear. But, what if 2023 could look different for you? What might it look like to live the next 365 days with intention? The end of a year offers an opportunity for reflection on growth and lessons learned. And, the beginning of a new year invites us to look ahead, to take next steps with intentionality and create our best year yet.
Here are some questions to help guide you as you reflect on the last year and launch into the next year along with some instructions on how to best use them.
Create space – Set aside at least a couple of hours of undistracted time to work through these questions. Put the phone away!
Write it down – Get honest and vulnerable with yourself as you answer the questions. And, write them down so you can refer back to them throughout the year and review them at the end of next year (I save mine on my desktop to review from time to time).
Share it – Share your responses with one or two trusted people. Sharing your intentions with others helps solidify them internally and increases the likelihood of follow-through.
Live from it – Use the responses to these questions as a daily compass directing your next steps.
The Past Year
What did you accomplish personally and professionally that you feel really good about?
What challenges, struggles and fears did you have to work through?
What did you hope to accomplish or change but weren’t able to? What kept you from doing so?
How are you different from 12 months ago? What did you learn? How did you grow?
How did you make a positive difference in the world around you?
What and who brought you the most joy?
What and who were the greatest stressors?
What did you tolerate this year?
What are you thankful for from the past year?
What are your top three insights?
Life is made up of multiple domains. Take time to check in with yourself by rating each of the following areas on a scale of 1-10:
Personal – How do you feel about yourself?
Physical – How are you taking care of your body (diet, exercise, rest, etc.)?
Financial – How is your financial situation (income, budget, spending, savings, giving, etc.)?
Spiritual – How satisfied are you with the way faith is integrated into your life?
Vocational – How do you feel about your work/career?
Family – How are you doing as a partner and/or parent?
Friends – How do you feel about your social relationships?
Fun – How well are you creating time for enjoyment and recreation?
What two or three areas of life do you most want to improve in the next year? What steps will you take to make those improvements?
The Upcoming Year
If it were two years from now and you were living your best life, how would you know?
If it were two years from now and you weren’t living your best life, what got in the way?
Who do you want to be by the end of the year? In what areas would you like to grow?
What two to three things if completed would generate feelings of pride and fulfillment at the end of the year?
What is one thing that if you accomplished it next year would make all your other goals easier or unnecessary?
What do you want to start in the next year?
What do you want to stop in the next year?
How will you make a positive difference in the world around you next year?
If this next year was a chapter in a book, what would you title it?
As you create space and reflect on these questions, I hope you have much to celebrate and be thankful for in 2022 even if it was a challenging year. And, I hope you are filled with the excitement of possibility as you look ahead to 2023! For support along your journey, connect with us at www.journeybravely.com.