Three Steps for Positive End of Year Reflection

Can you believe that 2018 is over? This past year has been absolutely amazing for me, I am having a hard time saying goodbye to it. (Read my 2018 recap here!) But, as we send 2018 off to be just a wonderful memory and say hello to a new year and fresh start in 2019, I like to dedicate some time to reflecting on the past year in an effort to learn, grow and appreciate.

Each year, I check off a short, three step checklist for positive end of year reflection. This year, I want to share it with all of you! But first…

or scroll to the bottom for the three steps for positive end of year reflection…

The Importance of Positive Reflection

You may be wondering, why is reflection so important? Well let me tell you (with really no rhyme or reason besides my own experience…)


Reflection is all about learning, isn’t it? So by focusing on positive reflection, we are entering that reflection period ready to learn and grow before entering the next year.

But this definitely requires some self awareness and ability to be honest with yourself in order to take advantage of all you can learn by reflecting on the past year.


Our new years resolutions are often focused on the things we aren’t doing right or areas of improvement, which is totally fine and can initiate healthy growth, but I feel as though we often skip the final step of celebrating our growth and accomplishments over the past year before jumping into our new resolutions.

Doesn’t reflecting on what we got right help us learn just as much as reflecting on what we got wrong? Plus, it gives you a good boost of self-admiration and confidence! So bust out a piece of cake or buy yourself something nice to celebrate kicking butt this year!


On the same note, we may set goals in the new year for what we want to accumulate – be it material items, friends, assets, experiences, etc… So it’s also important to reflect on all that you have in appreciation. By spending some time on this, you’re focusing on gratitude instead of desire, and I truly believe that this will kick off your year on a much happier note.

How to Enter Reflection Self-Aware

So what is self-awareness? Well, Webster defines it as:

conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires

Why is this important going into a state of reflection? I believe that by being self-aware, you are opening yourself to learning and growing. By refusing to be conscious of your own flaws and strengths, you cut off your ability to grow.

Here is a really great article about self-awareness, why it is important and how to cultivate it in yourself.

So… now what you all really clicked on the article for… three steps for positive end of year reflection!

Three Steps for Positive End of Year Reflection

  1. Take Stock of Growth. Remember above when we talked about celebrating? This is an excellent opportunity to do so! Write down all the ways that you’ve grown – did you learn something new? Did you refine your skills? Earn a certification or degree? Did you get out of your comfort zone and become more comfortable doing something? Whatever way you’ve grown, no matter how large or small, write it down then celebrate it and finally, use it to motivate yourself next year!
  2. Appreciate your people. It is so important to appreciate your tribe, those who surround and support you. This year, my tribe was so crucial to all of my growth and the opportunities I took advantage of. I couldn’t be where I am now, I couldn’t be writing this and hitting publish, without their support. So take a moment to appreciate those people who surround you. I believe that this helps kick off your new year focusing on them, helping to build stronger and deeper connections in the new year.
  3. Be honest about opportunities. This one is tri-fold. I think it is important to be honest with ourselves about the opportunities we took as well a the ones that we didn’t. We need to be honest about how our opportunities came about and what has come from them.

Setting Intentional Goals for the New Year

Now, after you’ve written it all down, it’s time to take that positive reflection and use it all to set intentional goals for the new year. I hope that by spending some time in reflection, you’ll be able to kick off the new year with truly intentional goals that you feel inspired to stick to, on both January 2 and December 2!

If you’re curious as to how I set intentional goals, check out my fav planner company’s (Day Designer!) blog post on Planning for Next Year with Purpose and Intention!

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