When a new year rolls around, many of us find ourselves reflecting on the accomplishments of the year that’s just gone by, as well as goal setting, creating new intentions, and planning for the year ahead—yet nearly all of these things are focused on our external world.
Focusing on external successes is a great motivator because it gives us the opportunity to set tangible benchmarks; however, without also accounting for our internal growth, we fail to acknowledge some of our most important work and evolution.
One of the greatest ways to do this is through a journaling practice or guided workbooks. Our favourite is Unravel Your Year, which Susannah Conway releases for free every December. It leads you through a comprehensive and emotional recap of the year that’s coming to an end, and guides your reflection and intentions for the year ahead. It’s a lengthy workbook that’s designed to be printed out and completed by hand, and is an amazing framework for anyone who likes to take their time and go deep in their reflection.
Anuschka Rees also offers a great resource, with 50 questions to help you reflect, appreciate and get excited for the calendar year ahead. These questions can be answered in writing (she offers a printable PDF workbook), or could also make a great Q&A to do with a friend or partner if you prefer to do your annual review more socially.
Both of these workbooks focus on a blend of external and internal reflection, and offer a beautiful way to move into your new year with intention, but they also require considerable time.
If you just want to do a quick reflection on your inner growth, we put together 20 of our favourite questions to ask this time of year. Answering these will point to some of your greatest character traits and major emotional wins of the last year.
In the last year, when did you experience/show…
- Resilience or grit?
- Lessons learned the hard way?
- Serious mental and/or emotional strength?
- A big gesture of love?
- Major stretching of your comfort zone?
- A risk or gamble?
- Creative problem solving?
- The power of surrender or acceptance?
- Deep relaxation/comfort?
- Feeling totally in flow?
- Being in your element?
- A strong spiritual connection?
- Guidance from your intuition?
- Applied wisdom gained through experience?
- Total trust in another person?
- Total trust in yourself?
Whether you’ve already done your goal-setting for 2019 or not, remembering your internal strength can be a powerful reminder of all you’re capable of. It can help you dream bigger, risk more, and design your year with more excitement and confidence.
Words by Bianca Bartz. Photo by Brit Gill.