New Year’s Pause: A Personal Reflection Template

Are you tired of all the talk about year-end reflections yet?

There are endless ways to approach year-end practices, including not doing them!

If you take away one thing, please do not sit down to reflect simply because you think you should.

The first and most important question before we do anything is starting with WHY. Why would I invest my time in this? Here are a few reasons I find year-end reflection helpful:

  • To source learnings so as not to repeat the same mistakes
  • To inform how I prioritize my time in the New Year
  • To check in - am I showing up how I want to be showing up?
  • To benchmark my growth (are the things I'm struggling with the same as prior years?)
  • To shine a light on my blind spots
  • To invite myself to slow down (in service of speeding up in the New Year)

If you have a reason that feels meaningful to you for wanting to reflect as you head into the end of the year, below is a reflection template for inspiration. These questions are a way to ask yourself 'what have I been learning?' which is actually a form of self-coaching.

I recommend setting aside at least 30 min for yourself to reflect on your year. Not all the questions will speak to you, so select a few that really do.  You can find a ready-to-use template here with everything that's below.

After reflection comes the harder question: what you want to do with these learnings?

If you want some help turning your reflection into action, I'd love to explore it together.


New Year’s Pause: Personal Reflection

Looking backward on the year

  • What do you want to celebrate?
  • In what ways are you proud of yourself?
  • What unfolded that you couldn’t have imagined last January?
  • What have you learned about yourself this year?
  • What might need acknowledgement for not going how you’d hoped?
  • What opportunities do you wish you leaned into differently?
  • What did you not do because you were concerned about what people would think?

Examining the present

  • What is bringing you the most energy these days?
  • What are you not giving yourself permission to do, or feel? 
  • Which friends/colleagues do you know in your heart of hearts are no longer contributing to your life? 
  • Where are you investing time that isn’t serving you and your goals?
  • How are you not dreaming big enough?

Looking forward to this coming year

  • What is one word that captures your intention for how you want to show up this year?
    In 12 months when you look back, this is a word that if you lived its essence, would invoke pride for you. Pride in how you showed up, in what you accomplished, and in how you developed as a human. 
  • Why is that word important? Why this year (and not last year, or next year instead)?
  • What would it feel like to live that word/intention this year?
  • If you live this word, what will that ‘get’ you? Who would you be if you lived this intention all year?
  • What are some examples of what living this word could look like? (actions, experiences, etc.)
  • Looking back, how will you know if you’ve embodied this intention this year?