12 Questions to Reflect on While You Look Ahead to the New Year
As the year winds down, there’s tons to celebrate. Of course every year brings good times and harder ones, but reflecting is always a good way to kickstart the new year and think of all you have achieved this past year, and want for the upcoming! You’re spending quality time with family and friends, slowing down from the usual routine, and (hopefully) giving yourself a pat on the back for all of the amazing things you’ve accomplished and all of the progress you’ve made over the last twelve months. I’m over here doing a dance because I KNOW you’re doing such a great job!
CHEERS TO YOU! Looking ahead to 2020.
With a new year ahead, it’s also time to start thinking about how you want to set yourself up for success — of all kinds — in 2020. This process can feel kind of overwhelming, so I’ve put together this list of 12 questions you can ask yourself when you’re feeling ready to reflect on last year and start dreaming about the next. Grab yourself some friends (this can be a group activity!), some gluten free peanut butter blossoms, and a little apple cider sangria and write away!
12 Questions to Reflect on While You Set Goals for the New Year
1. What did I do really well in 2019?
There’s this weird rumor going around telling us that setting New Year’s resolutions and reflecting on the year that’s gone by should be all about our shortcomings. I am not on board with that rumor! Before you start thinking about what you could have done better over the last twelve months, give yourself some credit. What specific things did you do well at home, at work, and in terms of your health? Making note of those things will give you a boost of confidence heading into the new year, as well as a starting point for coming up with new goals. Why not plan to keep that awesome momentum going?
2. When did I feel my best this year?
During what periods of the last year did you feel your best — mentally, physically, emotionally? See if you can find any recognizable patterns from those time periods. Were you following a certain meal plan or making a habit of a certain workout? Were you spending your evenings in a particular way or going to bed at a specific time? Were you hanging out with friends more frequently or having more family time? Once you find those patterns, you can figure out which habits and routines should be at the top of your priority list in 2020!
3. When I was not feeling so great this year?
Now, it’s time to look for the patterns in the moments that didn’t feel so hot. What were your habits when you weren’t feeling your best? You can focus on keeping them out of the picture in the future.
4. How did I deal with challenges or low points this year?
I hate to make you think back on the struggles you had to face in 2019, but reflecting on how you dealt with them might give you a chance to decide if you want to adopt a similar strategy in 2020 or totally switch things up. Consider the biggest challenge you came up against this year. How did you tackle it? Did you avoid it? Whatever your approach was, now is the time to really think about how well it served you. If it didn’t help you face the challenge more easily and more confidently, it’s okay to brainstorm some other ways to manage new challenges down the road!
5. Who can I look to for support?
I hope that the going doesn’t get tough for you in 2020, but if it does, you’ll want to be ready with a short list of people to call. Think back on who supported you most in 2019. I bet some of those names were not on your list of expected go-to people when the year started! Remind yourself to give those friends and loved ones an extra hug next time you see them and keep them in mind next time you hit a speed bump or struggle to reach a goal in the new year.
6. How can I be more accountable next year?
If you are planning to set goals or resolutions for 2020, it might help you to get there if you think right now about how to best hold yourself accountable for them. If you want to be more active in the new year, get yourself a workout buddy who can help motivate you to get moving when you’d rather… not. If you want to practice more clean eating, commit to writing down your meal plans ahead of time so you feel more accountable to sticking to them! If you want to hit a certain goal at the office, ask one of your co-workers to check in with you on a regular basis to talk about your progress.
7. Who do I want to prioritize more in 2020?
It’s nice to have measurable goals heading into the new year (if that’s your thing), but it’s even nicer to have a few resolutions around the people in your life who might deserve a little extra attention and TLC. Think about the loved ones you’d like to spend more time with or call more frequently in 2020, then put them at the top of your priority list come January.
8. If I’m setting goals or resolutions, am I being realistic?
I don’t necessarily think specific goals or resolutions are for everyone, but they can be really motivating for some people. If you are setting goals or resolutions heading into the new year, I would just encourage you to take a step back and consider how realistic you’re being. I’m totally here to support you upleveling your life, but don’t set yourself up for disappointment by making an impossibly long list of resolutions or by coming up with goals that you just don’t have time to achieve. Remember: you can always shorten your list of goals for January and then come back to set new ones once you’ve checked a few off mid-year. Goal-setting is allowed at any time!
9. How can I be kinder to myself next year?
Did you practice enough self love and self care in 2019? If not, we’ve gotta talk. Before the year is out, brainstorm all of the ways you can be just a litttttle kinder to yourself in 2020 — bonus points if you can be a lot kinder to yourself! — then put those ideas to use in the new year and beyond. Resolutions around self love and self care are just as important as the ones around work and health and money.
10. What’s my favorite memory of the last year?
It’s hard to really recreate an amazing memory. But if you actually reflect on the high points of your 2019, you can at least get proactive about planning things that could give you a similar feeling in 2020. It’s worth a shot!
11. How am I celebrating victories? How can I celebrate them even more in the new year?
Making a plan to celebrate the success of meeting a goal is just as important as making a plan to meet the goal in the first place. How do you want to treat yourself when you make progress or score a success in 2020? Decide on what’s going to motivate you most and then commit to actually following through with it later on.
12. How do I want to feel at the end of 2020?
Picture yourself at the end of next year (crazy, right?). How do you want to feel? What do you want to have accomplished? With that in mind, you can work backwards. What is it going to take to actually feel that way twelve months from now?
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