December 27

Doing an honest assessment of your past year can help you set new rhythms for the coming one.

Humans are wired to think in terms of “rites of passage”. Birthdays, especially important ones like your 18th, 21st, or 50th, mark critical seasons of life. In a similar way, each new year offers the promise of possibility and change. But, many people move forward without a clear sense of what’s behind. What’s behind is what makes us who we are, and if we ignore it we are flying blind into the future.

There are a few questions that I ask each year to help me assess any changes I might want to make in the coming one. This week, being the last of the year, is a great time to begin asking them.

1. What went well this year? What success did I achieve, whether expected or unintended?

2. What didn’t go well this year? Where did I fall short of my objectives? Why did I fall short? What were the controllable contributing factors?

3. How did I grow this year? How am I different now than I was at the beginning of the year?

4. What did I learn this year? What new concepts shaped my worldview?

Doing a quick assessment of these four questions can help you better see the trajectory of your year, and help you prepare the coming one.

Question: Answer the four questions. Do you see anything that surprises you?

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