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Growing Leaders Blog

on Leading the Next Generation


The One Thing I Do at the End of Each Year

For twenty-seven 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 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 2012?
  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 2013?
  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 will share a second ritual I perform, as I launch into a new year.


  1. Kurt Earl on December 29, 2012 at 7:37 am

    This is really good Tim. Looking forward to doing this before we get together w friends for New Year’s Eve party.

    • Tim Elmore on December 31, 2012 at 9:25 pm

      Glad you found it helpful Kurt. I hope this helps you close out 2012 well!

  2. Jeff Henderson on December 29, 2012 at 9:07 am

    This is great, Tim. Thanks!

    • Tim Elmore on December 31, 2012 at 9:24 pm

      Thanks, Jeff! I hope you found it helpful as you review another amazing year! Wish you all the best in 2013.

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The One Thing I Do at the End of Each Year