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End of the Year Reflection Exercise

2022 is right around the corner! I don’t know how everyone else feels, but this last year flew by!

As the year wraps up, if you look around social media, you might see a ton of advertising or posts around making a change for a better you. Or as some people say, new year, new you!

Although there is nothing wrong with wanting to make a change (it is necessary for growth), before you dive into choosing a bunch of new year’s resolutions or programs, take a step back and reflect up on the past year (also an essential tool for growth!).

But before we do, let’s get clarity around what reflection is.

If you were to google the definition of self-reflection, you will find something like - “meditation or serious thought about one's character, actions, and motives.”

Although this is a fine definition, let’s expand a little more.

To me, self-reflection is as a mental process you can use to grow your understanding of who you are, what your values are, and why you think, feel, and act the way you do. This plays a huge role in self-development because as you become more concious of what you want, what drives you, your pitfalls or tendencies, you can empower yourself make positive and lasting changes in your life.

Using this expanded definition, one can begin to see how self-reflection can help give us perspective, respond more effectively, promote learning and understanding, and help us better understand ourselves. Likewise, some research suggests that self-reflection can boost resilience and self-efficacy.

Last thing I will say - I have found it extremely beneficial to add reflections into different areas of my life at different points in time, including trombone, audition preperation, health and wellness, financial, relationships, and other skills I want to improve on. After all, the journey of improvement and mastery can become foggy if we don’t know where we are going, don’t know where we came from, and don’t stop and reflect our journeys.

With that said, here is an end of the year reflection that has evolved for me over the past few years. I highly recommend getting in the right head space (whatever that means for you), setting up your environment so you can focus, and being truly honest with yourself in this process - you may surprised what comes up.

End of the year reflection

1. Reflecting on the past year, what special moments stand out to you? (tip: go into detail about what made these moments special for you).

2. Reflecting on the past year, what moments didn’t go as planned? How come? How did these moments make you feel?

3. Where there any moments that didn’t go as planned, but you responded in the way you wanted to?

4. Where there any moments/experiences where you weren’t happy with how you reacted or responded?

5. If there were any moments/situations/experiences where you weren’t happy with how you reacted or responded, how would you have done things differently?

6. Reflecting on the past year, what are you most proud of? Brag about yourself, embrace the awesomeness that is you.

7. What are you grateful for?

Challenge - can you list at least 50 things? 75 things? 100 things? Take about 5-10 minutes and brainwash everything in your head. Don’t just write down what you are grateful, but also why you are graeful for something. It’s not about the number, but the intent behind each item of gratitude.

8. What are some things you learned about yourself? For example, tendencies, needs, habits, etc.

9. What are some things you could do this year to grow as a person and learn more about yourself?


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