As a Denver psychologist specializing in dating, relationship, and divorce issues, I regularly witness the power of active reflection as a personal development tool used to fully move forward. It’s critical to do so at any turning point in life -- the new year, a change in jobs, the close of a relationship, or moving into a new home. These times of transition are periods when we intuitively integrate past experiences into lessons, and commit to changes that continue to support our health and well-being.
Below you’ll find our “reflection” checklist -- questions to help you reflect on your life in 2015 and understand the most fulfilling ways to move into 2016. While therapy would be an appropriate place to reflect back, and discuss moving forward, a conversation with a trusted friend or answering these important questions in a journal would also be helpful practices as we move into a fresh, new year. Perhaps answer one question per day throughout the month, or devote an entire evening to this important self-reflection exercise.
As you move through these 24 questions, ask yourself not only the answer, but “why” you feel as you do, and “how” you want to move into 2016 with the truths uncovered in these answers.
What was the single best thing that happened last year?
What was your greatest challenge?
Which event was most unexpected?
What was your greatest personal change?
What was your greatest lesson?
What were you most grateful for?
What was your greatest source of motivation?
When did you feel most supported in 2015?
Which were your most valuable relationships?
What was your relationship like with family? Co-workers? Friends?
What new relationships did you cultivate?
How was your commitment to physical fitness?
How was your relationship with food? Alcohol? Other substances?
How well did you take care of your physical health?
Work / Productivity
Has your career progressed the way you desire?
What was the biggest time waster of your year?
What was the most valuable way you spent your time?
What was the best habit you formed in 2015? The worst?
Do you need to change any habits/routines?
When do you feel most fulfilled?
Have you found your life’s mission?
How did you grow spiritually?
Did you accomplish your 2015 goals?
Do you feel you are on the path to becoming who you want to be?
Use these questions as a baseline for assessing your current emotional/spiritual/physical health, the progress you made in 2015, and where you should focus energy in 2016. Notice where you have balance in life, and where you are challenged to find peace. Let these questions help you celebrate the progress of 2015 and help identify your focus for 2016, prioritizing actions based on what will make the most positive impact on your life.
If answering any of these questions stirs the need for further dialogue with a professional, I, Dr. Hick, am available to discuss any emotional challenges that might arise. Contact me to learn more about how therapy can support an ongoing practice of reflection, processing, and goal-setting.