"The list I write once a year that's way more important than New Year's resolutions."

Every new year, I hear people talking about “new year, new me”. Some use it ironically, but others don’t.

Everyone around you is planning how they want to get fit, eat healthy or save a load of money in 2019… But everyone also knows most New Year’s resolutions fail.

A few years ago a friend of mine told me she didn’t make ‘New Year’s resolutions’, but instead used the new year period to reflect on the past 12 months.

To do this, she wrote a list of all the things she was proud of achieving throughout the year gone by.

She argued that by doing this, she was actually in a better position to achieve even more in the following year because:

  1. She wasn’t just taking a stab in the dark about how much to save, or how long it’d take her to train for a marathon, etc.
  2. She had something she could refer to to help recall how bloody good past achievements felt, which helped with motivation when times get tough.

If it had been a particularly trying year, she might have also written a list about all the things she wished she had done better.

Her argument was that by reflecting on what you’ve done well (or not done well) in the past year, you can look forward and apply that knowledge to the new one.

You can still make goals, but they’re based on progress or achievements you’ve already made, so they seem much less daunting than the usual New Year’s resolutions you hear being thrown around.

It’s like a work performance review, but personal.

It sounded… smart. So I tried it, and it’s great.

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself about your 2018, to reflect and celebrate what you achieved (and look forward to 2019 with positive vibes!):

  1. What did I accomplish this year that I am proud of?
  2. What did I learn?
  3. What did I fail at or not do as well as I would have liked?

These questions should give you a pretty complete picture of how your 2018 has gone, which will give you a great outlook going into 2019.

Even if you’re not one for reflecting (and/or planning ahead!) it’s a great way to give yourself a pat on the back – and we can all appreciate those.

How do you reflect on the year gone by? Are you one for new year resolutions? Let us know in the comments.