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Growing Leaders Blog

on Leading the Next Generation


The One Thing I Do at the End of Each Year

For thirty years now, I have performed a ritual at the end of December. It’s the way I wrap up each year and gain some perspective on my life. I blogged about this last December and got such good response, I thought it may be helpful again.

photo credit: Shereen M via photopin cc

photo credit: Shereen M via photopin cc

I take a half a day and get completely alone. Usually, I get away from the house and find a quiet place to reflect. During this time, I think, I pray and I review the past year, making notes of my evaluations along the way. I perform this ritual by asking myself the following questions:

  1. What are my fondest memories of 2015?
  2. What were the “big projects” I completed during the year?
  3. What were the defining moments during the last year?
  4. What did I procrastinate on and fail to get done?
  5. What books and mentors had the greatest impact on me? Why?
  6. Am I closer to my friends and family from my activities this year?
  7. What will be my biggest goals as I move forward into 2016?
  8. Where did I neglect to live up to the standards I set for myself?
  9. What am I committed to do this next year, to fulfill my “Life Sentence”?

Answering these questions allows me to accomplish two objectives. First, it forces me to focus on the important things in my life and not get lost in the trivial. Second, it furnishes me a platform to set goals for the new year.

If you don’t already have a “review plan,” give it a try. Tomorrow, I plan to share a second ritual I perform, as we launch into a new year.

Happy 2016!


  1. Michelle Weidenbenner on December 31, 2015 at 7:53 am

    Wow, I love this and hope to share your questions with my bloggers this week. Thank you! I’m also going to keep a journal of my daily activities this year so I can reflect back to see how much I’ve learned and grown. Sometimes our growth is invisible to us because it’s not measurable on a day-to-day basis, but if we take a wider view (over the course of a year) we can see our results.

  2. Erin Brown on January 2, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    Done with 2015 reflection. Now onto dreaming for 2016. Thank you for the questions that are bringing focus to this planning time.

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The One Thing I Do at the End of Each Year