Anyone else totally over 2020 and looking forward to 2021? Me too. But before we completely dismiss 2020 in favour of the bright, shiny, hopeful new year, I think it’s important to look back and reflect on the events of the last 12 months.
So much has happened this year. It’s like a whole decade of world-shifting events have been squashed into 365 days.
Obviously, COVID-19 was the global headliner. But let’s not forget the devastating bush fires in Australia, the Black Lives Matter protests across the world, Trump being impeached then acquitted, Biden beating Trump to become President-elect, Kamala Harris becoming the first woman and first black and Asian American to be named Vice-President-elect, the tragic wildfires in California, the UK officially leaving the EU, the positive news from the World Health Organisation who declared Africa free of Polio …and honestly, this is only scraping the surface!
This year, your life is likely to have been significantly impacted by at least one of these global events, and there are likely to have been more life-changing events taking place in your personal life too.
Self-reflection is an amazing tool to help you learn and grow from your experiences. It leads to greater self-awareness, which increases self-esteem and encourages self-improvement. Think of it like looking in a mirror to observe and analyse your life, behaviours, or beliefs in the last year.
By taking time to look back on the events of your year, you can think about the whole picture, not just a tiny piece of the puzzle. You might find yourself able to understand and see things from a different point of view, which can allow you to challenge assumptions and make better future decisions.
To build a complete picture, it’s important to reflect on yourself – who you are and what you want from life – as well as the areas of life that are important to you.
Making this time, at least once a year, is important to help you step off the treadmill of life and take an honest look at where you’re really going.
"You can't go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending."
Here are my 10 essential questions to ask yourself to fully review 2020. I’ve also included photos of the bullet journal spreads that I use. For each life area (work/career, health/wellbeing, relationships, home/family, finances, spirituality, personal growth, recreation) ask yourself these questions:
On a scale of 1-10, how would I rate my feelings overall about this area of my life?
What am I grateful for?
What lessons have I learned?
What are my accomplishments/successes/wins?
What did I not do enough of?
What’s working/not working?
What do I want more/less of?
What truths do I not want to hear about this area?
What are my hopes and goals for this area?
What actions can I take to improve this area of my life?
You might like to use a journal in which to write your reflections; I enjoy looking back and seeing how one year compares to another, or you might like to list your reflections or even draw them.
The important thing to remember is that there is no right or wrong way of doing this. There is only what works for you. Just be open minded and try not to look for some deep insight into, or rational explanation of, your behaviour, as it may not be accurate.
It can be helpful to sign up with a professional coach for this process. As well as employing their deep understanding of the cognitive process, they can gently challenge you and your thinking, encourage you to face the areas you might otherwise try to avoid and hold you accountable for any changes you decide to make.
Finally, remember that self-reflection is a hugely personal process and it may be that other reflective activities work better for you. Keep any questions you ask yourself positive and focus on the learning you can gain to improve your future. Good luck and may 2021 bring you a year of hope and personal success.
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