A Top Ten List of Year-End Questions

Michael E. Angier

In order to embrace the new, we must release the old. A trapeze artist cannot swing from one bar to another without letting go. An important part of preparing for the New Year is to review the past year—to release it—and to learn from it.…

The following questions should stimulate your thinking for this process. I hope that you take time out of your busy schedule this holiday season to ponder where you are and where you've been. Talk with people you care about. Write out your thoughts and feelings. Do some journaling. Consider writing a letter—an end-of the-year-epistle to yourself. It could be profound to write it and valuable to read it in the years ahead.

Reflect upon what you did, how you felt, what you liked, what you didn’t and what you learned. Try to look at yourself and your experience with as much objectivity as you can—much like a biographer would.

Here are some suggestions to get you started in mulling over the past year—perhaps the last decade. Feel free to add your own.

  1. What did I learn? (skills, knowledge, awareness, etc.)

  2. What did I accomplish? A list of my wins and achievements.

  3. What would I have done differently? Why?

  4. What did I complete or release? What still feels incomplete to me?

  5. What were the most significant events of the year past? List the top three.

  6. What did I do right? What do I feel especially good about? What was my greatest contribution?

  7. What were the fun things I did? What were the not-so-fun?

  8. What were my biggest challenges/roadblocks/difficulties?

  9. How am I different this year than last?

  10. For what am I particularly grateful?

Another Suggestion: Consider listing all the things in your life of which you’d like to let go—anything you no longer want. Give thanks for what they've brought you in terms of learning and usefulness and then burn the list. It's a symbolic gesture to help you release the old and be open to the new. The next step is to list what you do want—experiences, knowledge, material things, relationships, healings, whatever.…

I'm confident that anything you can do to make this year-end more dramatic in terms of your own personal and spiritual growth will be valuable.


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