If I learned anything this year, I learned the life-changing power of being able to reflect introspectively. I do self-reflection daily – sometimes through one or two passing thoughts on my way to class, other times much deeper looks into myself over a weekend. Being honest with yourself is so, so important and if you’ve never realllyyy tried looking within, I highly recommend you make self-reflection a goal of yours for 2018! It’s not always easy, but, at least I’ve found, it can just take one in-your-face kind of book/lecture/article/quote to help you remove you from yourself and really think about why and what you are thinking and feeling. You will become a better, happier, healthier person and you will have this super power that will completely change how you go through life.
Today, I’m compiling – and answering – some of my favorite end-of-year self-reflection questions. They can be personal, they can be more like a quick summary of what happened this year, or they can be a little silly in nature, but I think it’s a perfect way to wrap up the year and recenter yourself to set up your intentions for the upcoming one.
So without further ado, I have 23 reflections for you!
The following 12 are from Naava Gladys in her post here.
1. What is something I accomplished this year that I am proud of?
I tried to put myself out there a little more and I’m proud of working up the courage it took for me to do that, even for the most simplest of things sometimes.
Also, can I be proud of my use of Google Calendar? I just started using it this past semester and it’s saving my life.
2. What is something I did this year that I think I will remember for the rest of my life?
I talk about Solar Spring Break all the time, but it was absolutely amazing! You can read about our trip and the work we did in part 1 and part 2, read how this trip taught me that we need to serve others instead of helping them, or come along with the team as we participated in the National March for Science!
3. What was the most challenging part of this year for me?
Saying no. I even wrote a post on why you need to say yes in life, but if you agree to everything, what do you really have? I was trying to save money at the end of the year, so I had to turn down dinner invites or get creative with what we did. If I knew something was going to be negative for me, I had to fight for myself and say no. Put you and your time first!
4. In what area do I feel I made my biggest improvements?
How many times can I push my self-improvement mindset stories on you? You already know how I (hopefully!) made myself a better person and how I’m always working to improve! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, now’s your time to scroll through my archives 😉
5. What are the three most important things I learned this year?
– Communication – Everyone knows it’s vital, but I feel I’ve really improved my communication skills this year, both online, professionally, and in conversations with close friends.
– Distracted Driving Advocacy – Promoting safe driving practices is one of my biggest (if not the biggest) passions. This year, I partnered with a state-wide program on eliminating roadway deaths and have learned so much (read the post here), changing how I drive too!
– You can’t wing everything. – Trust me, I’ve tried. I worked hard and put in the time all of my responsbilities required, and had one of my most successful semesters as a result! During my first year of college, I thought I could just wing exams like I did in high school; spoiler, you can’t do that.
6. What was the nicest thing someone did for me this year?
To everyone who ever bought me food this year – THANK YOU 😉
7. What is something that was hard for me at the start of the year but is easy now?
At the beginning of the year, I decided I was done being so tense and angry all of the time. It’s a lot easier for me to let things go and think about why I’m thinking so negatively about something in order to turn that train of thought around.
8. Of the books I read this year, which was my favorite and why?
I wrote an entire post on The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck – go check it out!
9. Which person has made the biggest impact in my life this year? Why?
I consciously leave most personal relationship stuff offline, but hey, you chose to read my honest self-reflection answers 😉
My boyfriend has, likely without even realizing, helped me to grow as a person so much. I’m not as self-conscious as I was at the beginning of the year. I don’t hate everything about my body like I used to. I’ve never been so fully and completely comfortable with someone, no matter where we are or what we’re doing or what time of day it is or what I look like. He’s shown me new perspectives, challenged me, made me think, taught me, opened up to me, and given me unconditional love and support. I don’t know where I would be without him coming into my life, but I know I’m so happy with where I am. (Plus, we first really bonded while working on a roof, how cute is that).
10. What could I have done to make this year better?
As most college students could likely say, I could have managed my time a little better. I’m pretty good at it already, but there’s always room for improvement!
11. What three adjectives best describe this year?
Joyful, Personal, Valuable
12. What are my most important goals for next year?
I’m going to embrace my new focus word (that is under wraps until the new year 😉 ). I’m going to read a new non-fiction book every month and reflect on what I’ve learned from it. I’m upping my daily water intake and aiming to wake up even earlier so my morning routine is one of tranquility.
The following 11 are adapted from Daring to Live Fully at their post here.
13. What was my biggest fitness accomplishment?
I, the girl who, for 20 years has obnoxiously stated how much she hates running and will never be caught dead moving at more than a fast walk, have started running. I run my first race on New Year’s Day!
14. What was my biggest career accomplishment?
15. What song was on repeat this year?
Sam Hunt’s Body Like A Backroad, hands down (and the 15 in a 30 tour was the best concert of my life, please take me back).
16. What positive habit did I adopt?
I started recording daily gratitudes and it was so, so worth it! Check out my update here!
17. Which negative habit did I drop?
I worked to cut down how much coffee I’m drinking. I just drink it because I like it (it doesn’t do much to wake me up), but I found if I skipped having it in the morning, I would feel the withdrawal and it was not much fun. I’m definitely making sure I’m never dependent on it!
18. When was a time I stood up for myself?
When you’re a woman working in a male-dominated field, you are going to be on the receiving end of some inappropriate comments at one point or another (it’s not okay, but that’s a rant for another day). Learning how to come out of those exchanges with grace was a skill I shouldn’t have had to learn, but it was better than letting myself be pushed down because of it.
Also, don’t let what you believe in be squandered or cast aside by others! I’ve had quite a few frank conversations with my good friends about how our values differ and why that’s okay. You can read my position on entitlement, college drinking, obsessive use of technology, lack of commitment, and an overarching post on personal values and handling judgment.
19. What new food did I try this year?
The construction guys fed me well this summer! I had sushi, chicken and waffles, coleslaw, and true NC barbecue for the first time and loved all of it! I also ended the year trying gumbo (I had no idea what it even was), but I have nothing bad to say about any of it!
20. What new experiences did I have this year?
I flew across the country with a group of strangers. I went to club meetings by myself. I started to get integrated within my major. I became reunited with music. I took on new leadership roles. I grew closer to new people. I ended an internship in one industry, joined another for a summer, and then got a job for the new year. I’m so thankful for all of it!
21. What milestones did I hit this year?
22. Where did I travel this year?
I flew to California in March. Throughout the year, I drove all around North Carolina for work and mini-vacations. When at home, I made sure to visit my favorite city, Washington D.C.! Nothing too extravagant, but all made for some great memories.
23. What was my biggest time-waster?
Netflix. I watched an entire season of The Amazing Race in a day (not on Netflix, but still), watched all of Stranger Things 2 in a weekend, and spent more time watching The Blacklist than I did studying for finals. It’s all fine 😉
That’s my 2017 wrap up! Stay tuned for the debut of my 2018 focus word as well as the newest page update for my perpetual bucket list!
~How was your 2017?