As New Year’s Eve approaches, we start to think about our resolutions. Before setting new goals for the coming year, you may wish to acknowledge what you’ve achieved this past year.

At the end of last year, a friend suggested we complete what she called an “Exit Interview”. It’s nothing to do with leaving a job. Instead, it involves reflecting on and acknowledging what you’ve achieved during the past year.

As I read through my scribbles from 2020, I am pleasantly surprised to see what I’ve managed to accomplish. Obviously, there are some things I’m still working on and not all my dreams have yet been fulfilled. But I found it beneficial. That’s why I’m sharing it with you.

What Are the Benefits?

  • Acknowledging what you achieved this year makes you feel better.
  • Keeping a record helps to remind you how well you have done.
  • We don’t always give ourselves the credit we deserve.
  • You can reflect on your successes by re-reading them the following year.
  • By comparing them with last year’s achievements, you can see how far you’ve come this year.
  • Hopefully the goals and dreams you set this year will become next year’s achievements.

Establishing Categories

Here are some possible categories you may want to focus on. You can also divide them into sub-categories to make it easier.

  • Work – balancing a career or working at home
  • Family – spending quality time with loved ones
  • Relationships – looking at relationships with yourself and others
  • Finances – keeping track of what you earn or spend
  • Social Life – remembering to have fun
  • Physical Health – balancing your exercise and diet
  • Emotional Health – developing personal growth, finding peace

Asking the Right Questions

Once you have established the categories, you can ask yourself a list of questions. Here are some you can use as a guideline.

Asking ourselves questions can often be as confronting as setting goals. Remember to treat yourself with compassion.

What Went Well For Me Last Year?

Find what worked well for you. Start with the small stuff. Work through each of the categories. Give yourself a pat on the back.

What Didn’t Go Well For Me?

Look at the reasons why things may not have gone according to plan. Some things are outside our control. Remember to be kind to yourself.

What Was My Biggest Learning Experience Last Year?

Was there something you learned that inspired you or was there valuable information that helped you? Was there anything that influenced your life significantly?

Who Was I Most Grateful For And Why?

Think of a person or people for whom you feel grateful. It might be someone who has made a positive difference in your life. You may feel like writing them a note of gratitude or sharing it with them over the phone.

What Is Something I Would Like to Let Go of Next Year?

Let go of anything negative that is a burden or preventing you from moving forward. Look at the aspects of your life that are not contributing in a positive way.

What Didn’t I Get Done?

If you didn’t achieve it last year, be patient. Sometimes goals take longer than expected to complete. Add them to next year’s list.

What Advice Would I Give To My Last Year’s Self?

Before giving yourself Advice, revisit last year’s list of achievements. Treat yourself with compassion. Remember to praise yourself for your hard work.

What Is One Dream I Might Have For Next Year?

Dreams are often fed by a strong inner urge or a gut feeling to take inspired action. They may lead you to achieve that important goal in your life.

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