This method will help you to identify what really made a difference in your life this year. Consider your accomplishments month-by-month. You may not have anything significant to list some months and other months may contain several accomplishments. Accomplishments can be something you did, a difficulty that you overcame, a new habit you worked to establish, or an event that occurred. Take time to list your accomplishments, month-by month on a sheet of paper.
Next think through what you learned or how you’ve changed through achieving each accomplishment. Did anything surprise you, disappoint you, or inspire you? Change can seem elusive at times, but when you reflect upon it this way, you may see that there have been many unexpected lessons and changes throughout the year. Big changes may be more apparent, but small changes really add up to make us who we are and give us the wisdom to make good decisions as we move forward in life.
Finally ask yourself these questions:
- Which of these accomplishments was most important to me?
- How has each accomplishment set me up for the next life step?
- How satisfied am I overall with my year?
- What is missing from my list?
- What do I need to make more time for?
- What are my goals and dreams?
|Method 2 Example
|What I Learned
|Am I Satisfied? What’s Next
|Started tracking steps per day
|I sit a lot at work and steps need to come before or after work
|Began walking on treadmill in morning before work
|Yes, but I need to be more consistent.
|Started to track food intake
|I’m grazing at night
|I added a substantial snack after dinner
|Yes. I need to work on making better choices for breakfast.
|Took family vacation
|Not to plan too much
|I didn’t feel as relaxed as I had hoped
|We had a good time, but I will do it differently next time.
|Had annual physical and screenings
|My cholesterol is still elevated, my weight is at a healthy BMI
|I looked at my food choices and reduced my fat intake
|Yes, I am thrilled about my weight. My health is a work in progress and I plan to work even harder next year.
|Finished remodeling bathroom
|It always costs more than you expect, but love the results
|Hold off on kitchen remodel until more money is saved
|Yes, glad we put in the effort.
|Started spinning and yoga classes
|I love them both
|Prioritized time to take classes
|Yes, I feel very proud that I was able to add this exercise to my life.
|Completed mid-year budget review
|We need to save more
|Decreased cable TV and cell phone expenses
|Yes and no. I am happy that I am watching the budget closely. More work to be done.
|Made a list of extended family and co-workers birthdays. Purchased bulk birthday cards.
|It feels good to remember people and send them a card on their special day.
|Yes, I would like to think of more ways to show those around me how much I appreciate them.
|Started to work on improving sleep by monitoring time slept for 1 week
|Weeknight sleep averaged 6.5 hours, weekend sleep averaged 8 hours
|Eliminated evening TV watching to hit the sack earlier, less fatigue
|Yes, I need to continue to work on this one. It is really hard to go to bed at my scheduled time.
|I bought small toys in place of candy for trick-or-treaters
|None of the kids complained-at least not that I could hear
|I felt good about promoting my no-added-sugar lifestyle
|Yes, I will continue this tradition.
|Hosted Thanksgiving dinner with all bariatric-friendly foods
|There are lots of low-sugar, low-fat recipes available online for traditional holiday foods
|No one could tell that I served no-added-sugar foods, I was complimented on the gravy (low-fat)
|Yes, next year I will take a no-added-sugar dessert to the dinner hosted by my sister.
|Finished financial management class
|Better stock market investment strategies
|I’m slightly more comfortable with stock market risk
|Yes and no. I am glad that I put forth the effort to attend the class. I need to look into some alternative investments.
Sit down for a few minutes today and get started with your end of the year review. You don’t have to get it all done at once. By taking that first step right away, you’ll be more likely to follow through and complete this exercise and gain a few key insights about your life and how you want to grow during next year.