Year-end review

The Importance of a Year-End Review

The importance of a year-end review is unquestionable. Reflecting on the year can be very beneficial for your self-improvement. If you haven’t done one before, I HIGHLY recommend it. (The only way to move forward is by looking back).

The last month of the year is always different from the other months. As the end of the year comes closer, people tend to slow down. We are spending more time with our loved ones, and we are preparing for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. We also start to think about what happened during the year, how much we changed, and of course, we start looking ahead to your New Year’s Resolutions.

If you don’t know how to conduct a review and how to structure reflection time, don’t worry. You can make it simple with a few tips.

Benefits of a year-end review

I always look forward to this time of the year because I can learn so much from my personal review. With reflection, I can learn from my mistakes, and it pushes me to go forward on my way to becoming who I want to be. I truly believe that if you do an in-depth review at least once a year, you will gain SO many great benefits.

You can celebrate the wins

end-year review

When you set aside time and you start to reflect on the year that has passed by, you will see how many things have happened to you. And not just bad things! I’m sure that a lot of good things have also happened to you throughout the year.

As you find your successes and achievements (even small ones), you will start to feel proud of being able to achieve all those things. And it is a wonderful feeling! You should take your time to celebrate the wins because you deserve it.

We tend to overly focus on our struggles and lose sight of what we have actually accomplished in a year. Don’t let the year’s successes and progress be taken for granted.

Related read: How to Choose Happiness for a Better Life

You will be more grateful and you will learn how to be present

People tend to forget when something good has happened to them, but bad memories stay for longer, possibly even forever. Reflection will make you realize all the good happenings. Therefore, if you regularly reflect on your year, you will appreciate more and embrace what happened to you during the year. (Plus, hindsight can sometimes even make you feel grateful for bad memories if they lead to a positive outcome in the long run!)

With a year-end review, you will also learn how to be more present. You will live in the moment and fully enjoy the upcoming events because you know that you should be grateful for everything, both good and bad.

Related Read: 4 Easy Ways to Express Gratitude Everyday

You will know where you are in the process of your self-development

As you reflect on your year, you will see how much you changed: how many bad habits did you leave behind, how many new habits and hobbies you began, and what you achieved. You will get an overall picture of where you are in your self-improvement.

A year-end review makes planning easier for next year

An end-of-year review is a great tool to make planning easier for the upcoming year. You will know exactly what you should do differently, what else you would like to achieve, and what steps you should take next to work toward your life goals.

Related read: 11 Tips for Setting Long Term Goals That You’ll Actually Keep

Simple ways to structure reflection time

Year-end reviews don’t have a strict form, therefore you can structure your reflection time as you want. To help you conduct your review, I collected a few tips that worked pretty well for me.

Reflect on different areas of your life

Your year end review can be more beneficial for you if you reflect on the different areas of your life one by one. This way you can get more detailed feedback on which segments you are strong at, and which areas should be improved in the future.

Here is an example of the different areas that you can use in your review:

  • Personal life and family
  • Health and fitness
  • Friendships
  • Career/Business
  • Leisure
  • Personal growth
  • Home
  • Bucket list

If you prefer, you can make your own list of all those areas that are important for you. Or you can use this list, and simply add to it a few new elements. It is completely up to you!

Related read: Reshaping Your Health- How to Make Healthy Habits

Answer some questions in each area to identify your lessons for the year


Take your time and go through all the above-mentioned (or your chosen) areas of life, and answer the following questions. The questions don’t have to be the same. Use them as inspiration to create your own set of questions. The important thing is to reflect on what happened to you this year and to point out all your successes and failures. This will show you how much you improved during the year. Also, look for the whys to identify your lessons for the year.

To jog your memory before getting started, this is also a great time to grab your planner or calendar to remind yourself of what you actually did throughout the year too 🙂

  1. What is your overall feeling about this area? Did you improve compared to last year?
  2. Did you have any success? What are your wins?
  3. What helped you to achieve these things?
  4. What are you grateful for in this area?
  5. Did you have any challenges? And how did you deal with it?
  6. Did you fail in anything? Do you feel disappointed about something?
  7. What should you should still work in this area?
  8. What lessons did you learn? What could you do better?
  9. How do you imagine this area should be? And where are you now compared to that?
  10. What will you do next year to make this area look like how you imagine?

Related Read: Self-Reflection Questions You Should Ask Yourself and Why It Matters

Choose a good time and place to make the review

Reflection takes time, therefore choose a day when you have more free time. When conducting your review, don’t rush. Just take your time and think through everything thoroughly. Also, choose a calm and quiet place where nobody can bother you. You can even light a few candles to enhance the ambiance.

How to plan for next year

Year-end review

As the year comes to an end, we start to make plans for next year. It may be a good idea to plan based on the year-end review because it can help you a lot to stay realistic with your goal-setting.

Choose 3 main areas to focus on next year

I advise you to choose 3 areas of your life that need to be improved: these will be the main areas that you will focus on next year. This way, you will be more effective when making changes in these segments.

It’s always better to have a focused path rather than skip between different categories all year long and feel unaccomplished.

Related read: How to Set Health Goals that You Will Actually Follow

Set short-term and long-term goals

First, set your long-term goals for the next year. Then break them down into short-term goals and actionable steps. These will be the small steps (milestones) you need to take to achieve your long-term goals.

For example, maybe next year you would like to learn a new foreign language. This is a long-term goal that can be divided into short-term goals (register for a language course, spend every day at least 30 minutes on learning, make a friend who is a native speaker of the language, pass a language exam, etc.).

Related read: The Gift of Wellness: My Wish List

Bring out the best from your year-end review

I always look forward to reflecting on my year because I feel that it gives a lot to my self-development and helps me efficiently close one chapter before moving onto the next. This helps me decide on New Year’s Resolutions and annual goals that I will actually keep.

I hope that you will also find the above-mentioned tips useful and you will bring out the best from your review this year.

Do you do a review every year? If yes, how is it structured?

Similar Posts