Personal Development Questions to Review the Past & Ring In The New

by Tess on December 22, 2008

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Creative Commons License photo credit: zaxl4

It’s tempting to make New Year Resolutions without reflecting on 2008. I invite you to think about the past year and acknowledge your accomplishments. It will get you excited and increase your faith in your goals for the future.

It is also important to look at the impact you have had on others and the world this year. How have you made life better for yourself and others? Whose life has improved because you were there? Take the time needed to really appreciate and honor yourself.

Do you acknowledge and appreciate small daily accomplishments? Have you given yourself a pat-on-the-back for the kindness you’ve shown or the relationships you’ve healed? Do you appreciate yourself for taking time to help a neighbor, to care for aging parents, for being a good parent or for learning something new?

Learn to offer yourself praise and appreciation. Learn to celebrate your successes. Give yourself the love and recognition you want from others. Take the feelings of accomplishment and success into 2009 and remember life is waiting for you. Make it a great new year!

My friend Colleen gave me this tool called, “The Year Review.” She has allowed me to share it with you. There is one set of questions. Answer the questions for 2008. Then take the same questions and answer them how you want 2009 to unfold. It’s a great method that will help you review the past and ring in the New Year.

Year Review-Preview

Review: Today’s Date_________________
Preveiw: One Year from Today’s Date_________________

  1. If you could give 2008 a name what would it be?
  2. If there is a symbol that represents 2008 that would capture its essence, what would it be?
  3. If you could give yourself a name that symbolizes you in 2008 what name would you give yourself?
  4. Name the people who made a difference in your life. Whom do you appreciate and why?
  5. What gifts have you received this year? (This could be tangible like your income, a favor or emotional support.)
  6. What gifts have you given others this year? (tangible or not)
  7. How did your relationships grow, change or end? What did you learn?
  8. What journeys have you taken? (inner and outer experiences i.e. a new baby, a vacation, a new job)
  9. Where did you derive your sense of well-being, health  and knowledge? What helped you feel good about yourself?
  10. What goals did you achieve and what do you need to celebrate?
  11. For Review-What and who did you grieve this year and where are you in the process? Preview-What empowers your mission and enhances your dream?
  12. Passages, changes and initiations: What has changed? What is new? What happened? How are you different because of it?
  13. Where did you find joy?
  14. What would be the sound track/song that represents your life in 2008?
  15. In what context did you feel more authentically alive?
  16. Free-To-Be the change you wish to see in the world: summarize from the inside out how are you “being” with yourself, and others in the relationship to the world?

Next take the same questions and answer them with how you would like 2009 to unfold. Your life is what you make it, with this exercise you will have a better idea of what you want to make of the brand new 365 days ahead. I hope this exercise helps you live the dream that resides in your heart.  You can find Colleen Snow at

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    { 5 comments… read them below or add one }

    Neil December 22, 2008 at 2:16 pm


    Tess, this is a great list of questions to reflect on. I’ve printed them out and will spend some time tonight putting my answers to paper.

    I can tell you now the greatest thing about 2008 was the birth of my son! He’s the light of my life and my wife is my sanity! My biggest achievement, starting Be 4 Success and sticking to it.

    All the best Tess, and thanks for challenging me.

    Neil’s last blog post..Boring Is Beautiful


    Tess December 22, 2008 at 3:05 pm


    Your son is lucky to have you for a dad. Thanks for appreciating and responding to my blog.

    Be 4 Success will only continue to grow and evolve next year!


    Daphne December 23, 2008 at 6:47 am

    Tess, I LOVE this review! Like Neil, I’ve printed it out and pasted it in my journal to sit down and do properly after Christmas and before the new year. Thanks so much for sharing this. Consider it Stumbled!

    I’m off to thank Colleen at her site too.

    Daphne’s last blog post..A Season To Celebrate


    Helen Y January 1, 2009 at 7:53 am

    Thank you for posting these questions. It was a great way to review 2008 and realize some great things happened this year. I have also used the questions for a preview of 2009. It has given me a great positive way to start the new year!


    Tess January 2, 2009 at 7:36 am


    I’m happy this was helpful. A little reflection always brings us new insights into how blessed we are. I hope you have a wonderful and amazing 2009!


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