Reflection Questions to Ask Yourself at the End Of Year
As 2020 begins to wind down, it is an excellent time to ask yourself a few end-of-year reflection questions. Tempting as it may be to just bulldoze right into next year, it is wise to first contemplate this one.
There are many ways to reflect on your year. One way is to examine yourself against basic human needs. Borrowing from Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, I’ve divided the questions into five areas.
I recommend journaling about the following questions. Consider them a starting point to examine how well your own needs have been met, what you did (or did not do) to contribute to your needs this year, and what you have learned to take into the next year with you.
This activity is excellent to do before you do your 2021 planning.
Before you begin, I recommend you do a few things to prepare yourself mentally and physically:
- Block at least one hour of uninterrupted time. If at all possible, do this first thing one morning.
- Do this somewhere you are comfortable.
- Consider writing versus typing your answer.
- Give yourself permission to be fully honest without judgment. If you realize that you did not do something don’t beat yourself up, just analyze and learn from it.
- Determine what aspect of your life you will focus on.
- It might be helpful to use the Start/Stop/Continue method. As you reflect, what would you like to start, stop, or continue doing next year? Be sure you are clear on the specific behavior and your “why.”
Physiological Needs / Physical Well Being
- How did your workspace impact your ability to meet your goals?
- How did you nurture your body and mind?
- How did you manage stress? What worked/didn’t work?
- How did you sleep?
- How did you exercise?
- How did you eat?
- How would you rate your overall physical wellbeing?
Safety / Security
- How safe did you feel in your workspace?
- How secure did you feel about your income?
- How safe did you feel in your relationships?
- How would you rate your overall sense of security?
Love / Belonging / Connection
- How did you maintain existing relationships?
- How did you build new relationships?
- How did you connect while social distancing?
- With whom did you feel like you belong?
- With whom did you feel cared for and appreciated?
- Whom did you actively care for and appreciate?
- How would you rate your overall sense of connection with others?
Esteem / Confidence / Achievement
- How confident are you in your abilities to do the work asked of you?
- What tasks or roles are you the most confident in?
- What tasks or roles are you the least confident in?
- How respected are you by the people you work with?
- What achievements are you most proud of this year?
- What were you not able to achieve this year?
- How would you rate your overall confidence level?
Self-Actualization / Growth / Service
- What did you do to increase your confidence/competencies?
- What did you actively learn?
- What did you learn this year about yourself that surprised you?
- What new people/groups did you actively engage with?
- How did you actively learn this year?
- What did you do to serve others?
- How did you impact others in a positive way?
- How would you rate your overall growth this year?
- How would you rate your acts of service this year?
Take your time and answer these questions with an open mind. Take note of the thoughts and emotions that surface. Pay attention to what feels good and what doesn’t because this will guide your 2021 planning.
Take time to actively reflect on your year in order to celebrate and learn. Even if you had little to celebrate this year, there are always great opportunities to learn. Journaling your responses to the questions is an excellent starting point for an end-of-year reflection. After this process, you will be clearer about your next steps.
About the Author: Leigh Ann Rodgers, Founder of Better Teams and Forward, is an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator with 20 years of experience in the human development field. Leigh Ann is a skilled meeting facilitator, trainer, and coach working across the globe to help leaders cultivate teams that are happy and high-performing.
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