• Mama Bear & Mama Wolff

Taking a look back - Reviewing your year

At the end of every year, really at the end of every quarter, I like to take some time to reflect on how the past few months have been for me. Did I accomplish what I set out to do? Did I miss but still land some where close? Or did I miss everything entirely? This is something that Mama Bear and I have never talked about but we discovered, we both do it and I think that speaks high volumes of the women that we are. We want to do and become better and that starts with us. So, I wanted to take some time and go over what questions I ask myself, in reflection. Next week Mama Bear will explain what questions she asks, moving forward and planning ahead. Ultimately taking time to reflect has proven to be a vital part in human learning. There is a difference between obtaining knowledge, obtaining and then application of that knowledge and even more so when that applied knowledge is then reflected on with the purpose of becoming better. So, there is no wonder that the end of a year brings on a lot of reflection for so many people. The real question is, what are you doing with that reflection? There will be many meme’s (they have definitely already started) about how crappy this past year was and how we all hope for a better next year. How can we hope for something better when nothing changes in our lives? A few years ago, I was challenged to do some soul searching and avoid the traditional route of making “New Years resolutions”, but instead to honestly review my past year and what areas I fell short in and WHY. If I wanted to do better, become better, act better in the following year how could I do that without being honest with where I was at this year? I can’t say that I am going to lose weight (the most common New Year’s resolution out there), if my habits around why I am overweight don’t change. It’s not about the will power to change, it’s about recognizing that when I am upset, I turn to food, or on my way to work I pass by the same coffee shop and stop in instead of driving a different route and packing my own breakfast. Or what if someone wanted to quit smoking but all of their friends smoked? It’s going to be harder to quit, especially if you say things like “I only smoke when I drink” but every week you go out with friends or coworkers and have a drink and buy a new pack of smokes. I was guilty of those comments too. Do I have the magical formula for self-reflection, absolutely not! But I do have some questions that I ask myself each year (and some I ask my spouse in our year end meeting) that may be helpful for you. Maybe they are exactly what you need, maybe they don’t fit you at all but they inspire you to come up with your own questions. Either way I hope that this year you skip the traditional “will power, make a wish” kind of New Year’s resolutions and you take the time to discover what has been holding you back from growing/improving in the areas you have wanted to.

1) How do I feel this year went overall?

2) What were my goals for 2019?

3) Did I achieve all of my goals?

4) If not, what do I feel held me back?

5) How do I feel about the goals I set versus the ones I achieved?

6) What could I have done differently to have achieved each goal I did not hit?

7) What habits do I have that I feel need to change in order to not repeat this cycle?

8) What have I done/changed that has really helped me this past year?

9) What do I mentally need to let go of and leave in 2019?

10) How was my self-talk? Do I know how great of a job I did? Or was I too harsh on myself?

11) Did I take enough “me time” and do the things that replenish me? What did I find replenished me? And maybe what things don’t anymore?

12) How was my speech with others? Does my husband know how much I appreciate and respect him? Does my daughter know how much she is loved?

13) How was my parenting this year? Did I improve and can I do better?

14) How did I talk about others when they weren’t around? Am I okay with that answer? Do I need to change that?

15) What did I do this year that scared me? What do I want to do next year that scares me?

16) How do I feel about my social media usage? Was it too much? Was it mentally distracting? Is this an area that requires different habits around? Did I feel fulfilled or empty after spending time on social media?

17) What is something new I learned this year?

18) How was I at admitting I was wrong? Could I have done better?

19) How is my relationship with each key person in my life? Could it be better? How? If they died tomorrow what would I miss doing/saying to them? What can I do this year to strengthen that relationship?

20) How can I help others this year?

21) Where was my personal mental health this year? If it was great, what can I do to keep that up? If it wasn’t what needs to change this year?

21 B) How did you respond to life circumstances? Are you okay with how you handled this year mentally? What can you improve on?

22) What personal growth books have I read this year? Do I feel like I learned from them?

23) What topics or books am I looking forward to this coming year?

24) What are the main habits that I learned that I need to prioritize and which ones do I need to get rid of?

25) How am I at prioritizing my time? With myself and with other people? Are there boundaries that I need to put in place in those areas?

26) What great memories will you take from this year?

27) Are there people I need to remove from my social media?

28) What are some things that I am really proud of this year that I overcame?

29) When do I feel my most authentic self? What can I do, to be more authentic this year?

30) What can I do to improve my home? Are there projects that need prioritizing? Can I reduce the amount of clutter that I am hanging onto? Are there items that need upgrading?

31) How was your physical health this year? Do you want to continue with what you’ve been doing or change? What goals would you like to set or what life style changes would you like to make this year?

32) How was your budget this year? Did you stick to your budget? If not, what habits can you implement to follow through better next year? What financial goals do you have for this coming year?

33) What systems do you have in your life for tracking all of your daily/monthly habits and how are you going to improve on this, this year?

34) Who do you have in your corner that you can use as an accountability partner to follow through on the goals you’ve set for yourself?

35) How often are you going to sit down with yourself and go over your progress? Weekly? Monthly? Quarterly? Where are you going to go? Do you need your accountability partner or do you need to be alone with your thoughts? Put these dates in your Calendar now!

36) What are some fun things/trips/plans you have this year that you are looking forward to? If you were to accomplish only one big thing this year, what would it be?

37) Have you done your Level 10 Life Goals for this year?

38) Have you made a vison/dream board? Have you put it up somewhere that you are forced to see it every day? Is it where others can see it to, so that they can ask you about it? How often do you talk about what you want to accomplish, are you doing it every day?

Set your intentions, make your plan, follow through on your plan and make this year a launching pad for the most incredible decade of your entire life! So, what questions do you ask yourself? How do you prepare for a New Year? Especially a New Decade?! We would love to hear them <3

Bonus Questions: While writing these down I got thinking of my Year End Questions I ask with my husband in our year end partnership meeting. I know some people find it strange that my husband and I sit down once a week to go over our marriage and take the time to see where we could do better, but I know a lot of people who have wanted to know more about how we do that (and not kill each other). So, I decided to share a few questions we ask each other/talk about at the end of every year that we refer back to when needed. I will share more on our weekly conversations in an upcoming post. 1) How have our finances been this year? What were our goals and where did we fall short? What do we need from each other in this next year to keep pushing forward with our financial goals? 2) What projects around the house need to get done this year? What is the plan with that? Who is in charge of what and how can the other person best help/support the other person in completing the project? 3) How has our sex life been this year? What do we want to prioritize this year in regards to that area? (There are more specific questions around this but you get the idea, get the conversation going) 4) How have we grown as parents this year? Are we on the same page? If there are areas, we don’t see eye to eye on, how can we compromise for the best interest of our daughter? 5) How have we grown in our marriage this year? What fun activities did we do together that sticks out in our minds? How can we prioritize doing those same activities this year? What new activities are we hoping to do this year together? (For example; I am TERRIFIED of heights, but my husband keeps me calm and I wanted to overcome the fear so we went to the Snow Valley Arial Park and spent the day there, or this year we took a quick dance lesson, we went to Mexico and we had a snow day that resulted in an entire day spent with friends eating good food and bowling while we all laughed like we were 20 years old again.) Now for some of the more serious ones 6) How did I treat you this year? Did you feel how much I loved you? Respected you? Are there any specific examples you can think of that I can change or improve on? (We ask each other this, this isn’t one sided but we do let the other person completely finish what they are saying and do NOT jump in defending our actions)

The “What if” questions. These are the heavy questions we don’t want to face around the “what if” scenarios in our life. Obviously, we can’t predict everything but there are some cases where we can see the potential of things turning south. So, we talk about them and ask what our plan is going to be (while we are not emotionally involved in the situation and can think about it logically). I will give you an example of one’s we have asked in the past; - If you lose your job, what is our plan going to be? - What if we can’t get pregnant? Are you okay with adopting? When would we want to start looking into that? What do we need in place for that to start? - If I lose the baby, what is our plan for that? Will you take time off work? What resources can I utilize for help? How do I want to deal with telling people the bad news? - If the dog/cat gets sick, what is our maximum we are willing to pay out? When do we say enough is enough? - What if our parents get sick (for us we are lucky enough to have family in our back yards but some people would have to fly to see their sick family) - If so and so passes away, what are we okay with spending financially? Are we able to attend a funeral? What do you think you would need the most during that time? You get the point, they are not fun questions but they are things that come up and sometimes it makes things easier when it comes to making a decision later on down the road. We have only had to refer back to our answers a few times on the dark questions but it was honestly the healthiest perspective to have an emotionally stable answer written down. While I might choose something different, as each scenario and also where I am at in life will change, my decision came from the compass of my “what if” answers. They also kept me calm during times of emotional chaos.

So what questions do you ask yourself or your spouse? How do you reflect on your past year?

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