“Let us test and examine our ways…” – Lamentations 3:40 (AMP)

This time of year is great for reflecting on last year and dreaming and planning for the year ahead.

Socrates once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” We must make time to reflect on the past in order to prepare for the future. If you want to be successful you need to ask and answer the right questions.

Here are six question to help you evaluate last year and start this year off right:

1. What was great about last year? 
This can be anything from getting a new pair of shoes to getting a new job, staying up late to catch up with some old college friends, a great vacation, getting a raise, getting out of debt, etc. It doesn’t mater how big or how small. What matters is that it was great to you.

2. What wasn’t great about last year? 
Author and speaker John Bradshaw says, “You can’t heal what you can’t feel.” What were the disappointments, hurts, and regrets that you experienced last year? Acknowledging these set-backs can help you heal and move forward in a healthy way.

3. What major lessons did I learn? 
Novelist George Santayana said, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Boil the big lessons you learned last year down to a short sentence or two so you can make the necessary course corrections in your life.

4. What do I need to START this year? 
Think of the things you know you need to get to but just haven’t yet. Make a list and sort it in order of importance. Tackle the top 3-5 items on your list. Once you’ve accomplished those things, work on the next 3-5 until the list is complete.

5. What do I need to STOP this year? 
Some examples of things to include on this list are binge watching Netflix, eating junk food, holding a grudge, worrying, and being in an unhealthy relationship. Get rid of what’s holding you back so you can thrive in the year ahead.

6. What do I need to CONTINUE this year? 
Date nights with your spouse, family nights with the kids, going to church, reading, meditating, praying, journaling are all great habits to continue cultivating in your life. Put them on your calendar before something else crowds them out.

Make some time in the next few days to reflect and respond to these questions. Write your answers out and keep them someplace that you can refer to often. This exercise will help you bring closure to last year and start this year off right.

What were your biggest accomplishments and life lessons from last year? What are you hoping to accomplish this year? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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