By Tricia Scott

So here we are in December 2018, can you believe it! Everything is starting to feel gorgeously festive and special and you’re more than ready for a break from your usual day- to-day routine. Right now is the perfect time to sit back, reflect and look back on everything you have experienced, learned, discovered and achieved during the last 12 months.

This kind of review is a fabulous exercise in mindfulness and conscious living. Use it as a way to slow down, take stock and reminisce about your favourite moments. Make you sure you take the time to appreciate all the little and big things that were a part of your life in the past year, and also to draw some conclusions about which kinds of things make you happy and what you need to draw a firm line under.

If you are into setting intentions and goals and already have some ideas for new year’s resolutions or things you want to achieve in 2019, looking back at your past year will also help to ensure that your goals are truly in line with your priorities and values. If possible, try to do your yearly review at least a couple of days before you sit down to set your goals, dreams and resolutions for the new year. Let everything sink in for a while, take the time to let it settle within you before pushing ahead with 2019.

Here, you’ll find 50 questions that you can use as prompts to reflect on different aspects of your past year. Of course you don’t have to answer them all, just pick out what feels good to you. Write your answers down, think them through in your head or talk them over with a friend over a glass of bubbles. Whatever works!

The last 10 questions are designed to get you to think about 2019, but don’t feel like you have to plan out your goals perfectly just yet. Capture any first ideas for next year and then use those as a basis for a longer goal-setting session later in the month. I usually do my yearly review before Christmas and then plan out my goals for the next year just before new year.

Ready? Let's go...

  • What one event, big or small, are you going to tell your grandchildren about? 

  • If you had to describe your 2016 in 3 words, what would they be?

  • What new things did you discover about yourself?

  • What single achievement are you most proud of?

  • What was the best news you received? 

  • What was your favourite place that you visited in 2016? 

  • Which of your personal qualities turned out to be the most helpful this year? 

  • Who was your number one go-to person that you could always rely on? 

  • Which new skills did you learn? 

  • What, or who, are you most thankful for? 

  • If someone wrote a book about your life in 2016, what kind of genre would it be? A comedy, love story, drama, film noir or something else? 

  • What was the most important lesson you learnt in 2016? Which mental block(s) did you overcome?

  • What 5 people did you most enjoy spending time with?

  • What was your biggest breakthrough moment career-wise?

  • How did your relationship with your family evolve? 

  • What book or movie affected your life in a profound way?

  • What was your favourite compliment that you received this year?

  • What little things did you most enjoy during your day-to-day life? 

  • What cool things did you create this year? 

  • What was your most common mental state this year (e.g. excited, curious, stressed)? 

  • Was there anything you did for the very first time in your life this year? 

  • What was your favourite moment spent with your friends? 

  • What major goal did you lay the foundations for? 

  • Which worries turned out to be completely unnecessary? 

  • What experience would you love to do all over again? 

  • What was the best gift you received? 

  • How did your overall outlook on life evolve? 

  • What was the biggest problem you solved? 

  • What was the funniest moment of your year, one that still makes it hard not to burst out laughing when you think about it? 

  • What purchase turned out to be the best decision ever?

  • What one thing would you do differently and why?

  • What do you deserve a pat on the back for?

  • What activities made you lose track of time? 

  • What did you think about more than anything else?

  • What topics did you most enjoy learning about?

  • What new habits did you cultivate? 

  • What advice would you give your early-2018 self if you could?

  • Did any parts of your self or your life do a complete 180 this year?

  • What or who had the biggest positive impact on your life this year?

2019 So what’s next?

  • What do you want the overarching theme for your 2019 to be?

  • What do you want to see, discover, explore?

  • Who do you want to spend more time with next year?

  • What skills do you want to learn, improve or master?

  • Which personal quality do you want to develop or strengthen?

  • What do you want your everyday life to be like?

  • Which habits do you want to change, cultivate or get rid of?

  • What do you want to achieve career-wise?

  • How do you want to remember the year 2019 when you look back on it 10/20/50 years from now?

  • What is your number one goal for 2019?