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The One Thing I Do at the End of Each Year

By: Tim Elmore



For 36 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 half of a day to get completely alone. Usually, I get away from the house and find a quiet place to reflect. During this time, I think, pray, and review the past year, making notes of my evaluations along the way. While the exercise varies slightly, I perform this ritual by asking myself the following questions:

  1. What are my fondest memories of last year?


  1. What were the big projects I completed during the year?


  1. What were the defining moments during the last year?


  1. What did I procrastinate on and fail to get done?


  1. What books and mentors had the greatest impact on me? Why?


  1. What were my biggest disappointments this past year?


  1. Did my activities lead me closer to my friends and family?


  1. What will be my biggest goals as I move into next year?


  1. Where did I neglect to live up to the standards I set for myself?


  1. What am I committed to doing this next year to fulfill my lifelong promise?

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 ones. Second, it furnishes me with a platform to set goals for the new year.

If you don’t already have a “review plan,” give it a try.

Next week, I’ll post an exercise I do at the beginning of each year.

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  1. Studyessay on December 28, 2021 at 3:04 am

    Planning and analyzing your thoughts and actions is extremely important, it’s a kind of conscious living. I try to outline my goals and plan my actions, but to be honest I don’t always get it. There is not always enough time or energy to move mountains.
    I am a college student and combine work with studies, it’s good that the service Studyessay helps me with my homework, otherwise, I just can not cope.
    But still, try to follow your advice and spend at least a couple of hours alone and ask yourself important questions. Thank you for sharing your experiences! It was useful.

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  3. Josh Stumbo on January 7, 2022 at 3:43 pm

    This time of year I’m certainly in the midst of reflecting on my work performance over the past 12 months, but I rarely give the same level of reflection to the rest of my life. Thanks for this reminder Tim. I’ll give your list of questions a try this year.

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The One Thing I Do at the End of Each Year