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5 Steps to Reflect on 2020

December 14, 2020

This time of year I love setting aside time to look back and reflect on the past year.  Even with the unpredictable and unforgettable events of 2020, this year is no different. Making time for reflection helps me in so many ways and I have no doubt it can help you too.

If you’re anything like me, I spend a lot of my time working toward my goals, focusing on being my future self, and creating the results I want for my life. 

But this time of year I love giving myself a chance to slow down and reflect.  Doing this not only gives me a chance to celebrate my successes, but it also encourages me to be more present and get honest with myself about where I am right now. 

When I really understand where I am right now, then I’m able to purposely set goals for next year.

If you’re ready to set goals for next year but you aren’t sure where to start.  I suggest starting with reflecting on this past year.

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Here are 5 simple steps to help you reflect on 2020:

1. Write down your results.

Take time to find a quiet place to think about your results this year.  Your results are anything that you created.  Here are a few examples of results you might want to focus on:

  • your job
  • how much money you made
  • the amount of money in your bank account
  • your relationship with your spouse, friends, children, or extended family
  • your weight
  • your home
  • your schedule
  • the activities you’re involved in
  • your social life
  • your friendships
  • your clothes
  • your sleep
  • your diet
  • the number of clients you have in your business
  • the number of hours you work
  • the state of your closets, pantry, garage, etc.

Now, before you look at this list and focus on all the things you didn’t accomplish and then beat yourself up, I’d like you to pause. 

The purpose of this exercise is to be honest with yourself, but always from a place of self compassion.

Beating yourself up is NEVER helpful. 

So, start by noticing and celebrating the results you have that you created. Maybe you’re drinking more water than last year.  Or maybe you’re sleeping 30 minutes more each day.

Or, maybe, like me,  you’re making your bed everyday.  I know! It’s a bit embarrassing to admit, but I didn’t used to make my bed.  I finally got tired of getting into an unmade bed and I decided that making my bed in the morning would help me love my bedroom and get a better night’s sleep.  And, as it turns out, those are true.  I love my bedroom when my bed’s made.  And, I love getting into bed when the sheets and blankets are exactly where they’re supposed to be. 

Whatever your results are, and no matter how small they are, write them down and celebrate yourself.

YOU created those results!

Then you can notice and write down the results you created that you don’t want to continue to create.  Again, do this without judgement.  This is just information that can help you decide where to go from here.

2. Write down the thoughts you had most often this year.

What we think creates our emotions.  And our emotions are what lead us to do anything. So, knowing what we’re thinking helps us understand why we’re doing what we’re doing. 

This awareness can also encourage us to think different thoughts so we can create different results.

So, for example, you might have a common thought that you don’t have enough time.  Having this thought on a regular basis probably creates feelings of stress or overwhelm.

What do you do when you’re overwhelmed? Do you binge on the nearest sugary snack? Do you drink an extra glass of wine? Do you procrastinate? 

Whatever you did (or didn’t do) is because of the thought you had. Noticing the thoughts you had most often can give you a window into why you have the results you have right now.

3. Write down the 3 most common feelings you had this year.

Were you energized, frustrated, excited, or stressed? Really think about how you felt most of the time and write those emotions down.

When you get clear about the feelings you had most often, you can look at what you were thinking that created those emotions.  Then you can see what actions you took when you felt those feelings. 

This might look something like this:

Thought: I never have enough time for everything.

Feeling: Stress

Action: Spin in indecision trying to figure out what to do first

Result: You don’t have time to do what you wanted to do.

It’s through this awareness that you can begin to see that your results are created by what you’re thinking and feeling.

4. Reflect on this year and answer this question. If you were given the chance to restart the year, would you choose to do the same things you did? 

Get clear about what you would do again and what you would change or do differently. Knowing this helps you find areas in your life where you’re getting the results you want and areas that you want to continue to improve upon.

As a side note, I think this is really fun to do in general.  I especially like to think about whether or not I would remarry my husband.  Yes, I would, hands down! I can’t help but smile when I think that.

5. Write down what you learned this year.

I love thinking about all the lessons I’ve learned this year.  I’m amazed at the amount of growth I’ve experienced.  I’ve learned so much about how resilient I am and how much I love to learn, grow, and be challenged intellectually. I also learned that I’m capable of so much more than I ever realized.

But, I also learned that I have some thoughts that are holding me back that I really want to work on this coming year.

Make time to really reflect on this past year and what you’ve learned.  In what ways have you grown and in what ways are you wanting to grow this coming year?

It’s from this place of true reflection and understanding that you can begin to look ahead and make decisions and set goals for yourself for next year.

One Last Note!

If you’re wanting to finally set and accomplish your goals in 2021, check out my 1:1 coaching program.  Go to https://katrinaklooster.com/work-with-me to learn more and schedule your free 60 minute consultation call with me.

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