With New Year’s Eve fresh in our minds, this is the perfect time to take a pause, sip a glass of wine and complete a personal year review. Be honest: how did last year go? What went well? What didn’t?
A personal review is a powerful tool; the fact that it remains private means that it’s possible to be brutally honest with yourself. Gaining an awareness into your deeper processes and motivation is an essential step towards self-fulfilment, and perhaps even self-actualisation. The questions listed below may help you to identify key strengths that can be built upon, and they will allow you to target the things you want to improve.
Of course, if you’re coming to read this post in January, or indeed later in the year, that doesn’t mean you can’t do a review. Your year could be April to April, or whatever 12-month time-span you find works best. It could even be like the academic year, from September to July.
Questions From Your Personal Review of the Year
What was the best thing that happened this year? What made it so good?
Which was my greatest accomplishment? Why?
What was my biggest failure and what did failure teach me?
How can I use the learning from past failures to ensure future success?
Which word, phrase or theme describes my year?
What aspect of the past year was the most challenging?
Which strengths did the challenge illuminate?
Which weaknesses were made visible?
What are the three things I am most grateful for?
What brought me the most joy?
What do I need to do more of to feel happier, self-fulfilled or at peace?
Remember to complete your personal review questions slowly and thoughtfully, and to revisit your responses in the months ahead. Your personal review doesn’t carry the threat of entering special measures if your responses are negative. Instead, a negative response should be seen as a potential gift: a chance to see what can be improved upon. After all, it’s only through greater awareness of our problems that change can be achieved.
Written by Dr Chrissie Tizzard, Chartered Consultant Psychologist, PsychD, BSc, MSc, C.Psychol, C.Sci, AFBPS. Dr Tizzard is the Clinical Director of Christine Tizzard Psychology (ctpsy.co.uk).