A Year That Was: 3 Benefits of Year-End Self-Review

An unexamined life is not worth living. ~ Socrates

As of this writing, exactly a week from now, another year will end.

In the past, during this month of December, I’m busy buying gifts for people, at home, workplace, friends, relatives, etc., and busy attending several parties. However, this year is different. I attended only one party, and I didn’t spend a lot of time buying gifts. Instead, I spent my time mostly at home, with my son and husband, just hanging out and living simply like an ordinary day.

Nowadays, I don’t see this time of the year as I used to see it before. And because of such change, a time without the haste of parties and gift buying/giving, I was able to have time to think and reflect about my year, my life, and life in general.

Today, while walking calmly in our garden, enjoying my time alone and with bonsai trees, a question appeared in my mind: how was my year?

As I recall the events in my life during the year, it made me realized the following benefits of year-end self-review:

1. Know Where You Are

Doing year-end self-review will help you know where you are in life, and who you are, at the moment.

For an instance, I realized that at this moment, I am in a simple and calm environment at home with my family. No haste, no hassle, no drama, no complication. Just a quiet time at home. And because of such calmness and peace, I am thankful where I am. However, this calmness and peace at home didn’t happen if I didn’t make a choice earlier this year to what I want my life to become. This calmness and peace was a result of such choice.

2. Know Where You’ve Been

Doing year-end self-review will make you reflect where you’ve been during the year, and see if it is aligned to your desired result or goal.

For an instance, when I took a mental note of the events in my life this year, I was able to summarize where I’ve spent most of my time, the places I’ve been and the people I spent it with. Majority of it was spent with my son, and key people at work, which was very aligned to the goal I set for this year.

3. Know Where You’re Going

Doing year-end self-review will empower you either to change your life, or continue what you’re doing, in order to achieve your desired result or goal.

For an instance, after reflecting on the events in my life this year, I realised I need to improve on an area, such as my desire to buy material things, in order for me to fully achieve my desired result in life. My goal is to be a minimalist and financially free. Because I want to believe that the less things I have, the more time I have in looking after the people I truly care for. And that for me is the area where I need to improve in order to get to where I want to go.

I hope I was able to share insightful lessons with you in this article. For a final word, let me leave you this quote to understand the importance of year-end self-review:

Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful. – Margaret J. Wheatley

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