by Claire N. Scott, Ph.D.
As we come to the end of the year, it is a good opportunity to take time out to reflect on the year just past, remembering all the things it held for us. The following questions are offered as a way to facilitate that reflection — and perhaps stimulate your thinking to ask yourself questions of your own.
As with any psychological exercise, I would add this caution. If you find yourself feeling unduly overwhelmed or distressed by your answers to any of these questions, it might be helpful to talk about your thoughts and feelings with a friend or family member who can give you support. If you feel you need to talk with a professional, there are several options available to you: you are welcome to contact one of the therapists at Karuna (404) 321-4307; or you may prefer to talk with a clergy person; or your personal physician; or you could contact your local county mental health center.
With that caution having been said, I hope you’ll find this exercise beneficial and even have some fun with it — maybe stir up some good memories, get things into a different perspective, and perhaps learn some interesting things about yourself in the process.
What was my greatest accomplishment(s) this year?
What was the biggest disappointment of the year?
What was the highlight of the year — what gave me the greatest joy this year?
What was the most frustrating situation of the year?
What was the best surprise?
What was the biggest relief?
What was my worst blunder?
What are the moments I wouldn’t want to have missed?
What, if anything, do I wish I had done differently?
Who was the most interesting new person in my life?
What was the most difficult thing I had to do this year?
What was my worst experience?
What was the most unusual experience of the year?
What person/book/experience/movie, etc. had a big impact on me? Why?
What was the area of greatest growth for me?
What area(s) need the most growth/development in the future?
What am I most thankful for?
Who were the people who were most important to me this year?
What was a kindness extended to me that meant a lot to me?
What was a kindness I extended to someone else that meant a lot to me?
What do I want to invite into my life in the upcoming year?
(Try this exercise instead of New Year’s Resolutions. The answers to this question can be used to create a graphic representation of what you want to invite into your life during the upcoming year , e.g., a collage of pictures, a drawing, a list of key words — which can then be displayed somewhere you would see it occasionally to remind yourself what it is you **really** want.)