Embody your life with a year-end retrospective

A few years ago I started a habit that has become very important to me. I’m not one to set goals typically (client work is an exception), prefering to act on my intuition, follow my instincts and pray like mad. However, I found that the years were speeding by in a bit of a blur. I decided it was time to stop and really imbed each year into my psyche. I do this by sitting down for a few hours with my calendar. As I review my calendar (which was paper-based back then and is electronic now) I type out a running commentary of what I am remembering.  Seen from the perspective of the present, the past year’s events take on new meaning. I begin to notice trends. I can re-frame and re-interpret what I was doing, or not doing, at any given time. I can see over the months what took precedence and what got dropped. As I go, I remember both the good times and the bad. I sink into the year that just passed. I get sad, and happy, and angry – all over again. After I have done this for the whole year, I ask myself these types of questions:

What have I learned about living in the last year? How am I older and wiser now?

What was so great that I want more of it? (This allows me to live more intentionally in the year ahead, as opposed to setting goals to reach).

What was so bad I hope it never happens again? And it it does, what have I learned about how I will react and cope next time?

What was begun for me, that I might want to give more energy and momentum to?

What has ended now, and I need to let it go? 

This few hours at the beginning of the year is a way for me to manifest what I would like in the coming year. I get clearer in my intentions and my needs. I reshuffle my activity to better align with my personal priorities. I pray for what I want and what I need.  

I know that whatever I do on auto-pilot belongs to me regardless of the outcome. This exercise stops the train and gives me a chance to become more fully alive to my experiences.  It’s actually a few hours with myself that I really look forward to.

2 thoughts on “Embody your life with a year-end retrospective


  1. Thanks for sharing, especially the questions you use. I do the same over the last weeks of the year. I collect pictures, reflect on what happened and outline some intentions for the year to come. It is important to set up some rituals in life. For me, this is one of them.

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