Reflections - A Top Ten List of Year-End Questions
By Michael Angier
In order to embrace the new we must release the old. A trapeze artist
cannot swing from one bar to another without letting go. An important part
of preparing for a New Year is to review the past year--to release it--and
to learn from it.
To go where we wish to go and be whom we wish to be, we need to know
where we are and who we are. An honest self-analysis is always helpful to
gain clarity. As we end a year, it seems particularly fitting to devote
some time to reflecting on the year past and where we find ourselves as
the New Year dawns.
The following questions should stimulate your thinking for this
process. Enter into discussions with people you care about. Write out your
thoughts and feelings. Do some journal writing. Consider writing a
letter--an end-of the-year-epistle to yourself. It could be profound to
write it and valuable to read it in the years ahead.
Reflect upon what you did, how you felt, what you liked, what you
didn't like and what you learned. Try to look at yourself and your
experience with as much objectivity as you can …much like a biographer
Here are some suggestions to get you started in thinking over the past
year or perhaps the last decade. Feel free to add your own questions too.
1. What did I learn? (Skills, knowledge, awareness', etc.)
2. What did I accomplish? (List of my wins and achievements.)
3. What would I have done differently? Why?
4. What did I complete or release? What still feels incomplete to me?
5. What were the most significant events of the year past? List the top
6. What did I do right? What do I feel especially good about? What was
my greatest contribution?
7. What were the fun things I did? What were the things that were not
8. What were my biggest challenges, roadblocks or difficulties?
9. How am I different this year than last?
10. For what am I particularly grateful?
Another suggestion: Consider listing all the things in your life of
which you'd like to let go … anything you no longer want. Give thanks
for what they've brought you in terms of learning and usefulness and then
burn the list. It's a symbolic gesture to help you release the old and be
open to the new. The next step is to list what you DO want …
experiences, knowledge, material things, relationships, healings,
In doing this, you'll be using the principle of vacuum …releasing
what you don't want and embracing what you do. Each New Year's Eve, my
wife and I, along with several friends and close family members will light
a bonfire and burn our lists as well as a few other articles that
represent something we no longer desire in our lives. For example, I plan
to burn an old (and too big) article of clothing to symbolize a less-than
impeccable wardrobe and garments that belong to a heavier person than I am
and will be.
Use your year-end as a time to reflect, learn and grow. This will
prepare you for a positive New Year ahead.
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