Wife to my high school sweetheart, boy mama to sweet baby boy Macrae, and two fur babies Shiloh and Milo, a full time high school history teacher, and overall enthusiast for life. Avid podcast listener, iced coffee drinker, and organized chaos manager. My passion is to encourage and inspire. To cultivate an intentional life, a life full of joy and an abundance of grace.
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So many feelings as we head to the start of a brand new year. If you are looking for the proper way to close out 2023 and head into a fresh new year, well look no further. Sharing with you exactly what you need for your end of year review. Three simple steps to your year-end review to close out 2023 and head into the new year eager and strong!
I don’t know about you, but I am more than ready, eager, excited, over it. Put any word, all the words needed to wrap up this year and move into another year. Of course, I always love a new year. A fresh start. New opportunity to focus on goals, visions, and dreams. The perfect time of year to choose your own word of the year to declare over yourself for the next 365 days. Personally, I am stoked that the first day of the new year falls on a Monday. I feel that’s just so fitting for a fresh start! But, we’ll get there. For now, all the attention is to focus on reviewing 2023 in order to move ahead to the new year to come.
A chance to reflect on the previous year and close out the year. Which is exactly what we are going to do with a three-part end of the year review. This can be as formal as you want it to be, or as casual as you want it to be. Whatever works best for you. Go in that direction. And just know that if you are sitting in the place where this was the hardest year of your life. You find yourself feeling no need to reflect on the previous year. Wondering why would you even want to look backwards, ready for a fresh start. Eager to set the gaze forward, I’m here to say there is an importance to sitting (really quickly) in the hard for a moment.
Now, you don’t want to relive it for a very difficult time, but just take a moment and sit there. And ask yourself some tough questions in order to look for some answers that can really bring you closer to stepping out in the light. While, a lot of the hard things are circumstances that are out of our control. However, it’s really important to still try to find the little bits of joy. To look for the good things even in those hard moments.
One important reminder as we approach a new year. Oftentimes we tend to immediately put on this “things need to be perfect” mindset and expectation. And even without trying too, we cling to this false sense of perfectionism. More than anything, please be very cautious about taking that mindset. Be very, very careful not to allow yourself to bring perfectionism into your headspace.
When we sit down to plan and think through goals and ideas and visions for the new year, it is so easy to without even realizing it, to cling to this sense of perfectionism. Where without really intending to, we build our goals in perfectionism. We establish our expectations for each day, rooted in perfectionism. Envisioning the perfect morning routine, followed by the perfect evening routine. We desire for the little intricate parts of the day to connect together seamlessly. When in reality, that’s not going to happen.
Therefore, be very mindful of that! Constantly lay that down. Constantly be thinking, “I’m going to set this aside. I’m not going to focus on this, nor am I going to hold onto this.” Simply by being aware of it, gives you a lot of power to recognize that these crazy expectations and desire of perfectionism, is not going to take hold over you or your year. 2024 is going to be a brand new year. A fresh start, a clean slate.
Whatever it is that you want to view the new year as. It is important to remember that the things we dealt with and the things that we experienced in 2023, they are still a part of us. There’s still that foundation. Therefore, be intentional with how you plan, how you prepare and how you reflect on the past year. Be really be careful with your heart as you move into the new year, so that way you aren’t creating false expectations and you’re not clinging to this unhealthy sense of perfectionism. Instead, give yourself abundant grace to just be what you need to be. To fall short when you need to fall short and overcome when you need to overcome, but really find that beauty in just the art of living through it all.
I’m excited to share the three parts to your end of the year review. Three things that I really believe you need to properly review your 2023, in order to move ahead to a brand new year. Everything you need to properly review your 2023 and move ahead to a brand new year. 3 steps, 3 things to do at the end of the year.
Now you can do this on a sheet of paper. Or through a journal. Or you can do this talking to someone. This can be a nice coffee date or dinner date spending time with your spouse, a friend, or a family member. Or you can reflect on this personally within your own headspace. Either way, figure out what works best for you. It can be as formal or as informal as you want it to be just make sure you get it done.
The very first step to your end of the year review is all about reflection. Take the time to actually reflect on the year. Specifically reflect on the previous year through a specific set of questions and actually spend time dealing with the answers. It is through spending time reflecting, that allows us room to fully grow! Especially in the promise of a new year, and all the hope that it brings.
When taking time to reflect at the end of the year, specific questions that are important to consider include the following:
There’s such an importance in reflecting on all these questions. Especially as it allows you to look back at your answers throughout the years. This allows you to see how you have grown and it can be such a beautiful thing. Such a powerful way to document the years.
Take the time to really put some thought towards thinking through these questions. Do a little deep dive on the previous year. Allow yourself to truly cultivate the art of reflection, in order to grow an appreciation for all that you went through this year. It’s really good to be able to process these things. Because then, when you look and read your responses later, you gain a lot of clarity. Additionally, you gain a lot of understanding about all that was accomplished. All that was went through, and all that was endured. It gives you a greater sense of appreciation.
The second step to your end-of-year review is focused on self-assessment. This is the real test. Your very own self assessment. Specifically, when you take time to evaluate how you did this year. This is a great way to allow yourself to document where you are at right now. Where you have been throughout the year, so that you can look back a year from now and actually see the changes that you made.
A self-assessment at the end-of-year in order to truly reflect on how it is that you are actually doing. Specifically, how are you taking care of yourself. How are you stewarding your passions. Furthermore, how are you speaking to yourself? Are you constantly beating yourself up because you think you’re falling short. Or are you actually stopping to celebrate and acknowledge your accomplishments in the good job that you are doing.
The important thing is to be honest. Self-assessments can be so tricky. Additionally, they can be hard and challenging. We don’t like to sit through them because we rather not deal with the answers. However, there is so much growth and room for improvement. As well as getting to that next step when we sit through the uncomfortable of our own self-assessment.
Therefore, take the time to ask yourself these hard questions and wait for the response. For example, what parts of your day do you feel the most rushed? As well as, what areas of your home feel like a struggle to keep up with? Furthermore, where do you feel the most defeated or where are you feeling the most encouraged?
Take time to really ask yourself these hard questions and extend endless grace to yourself as you work through the answers. Know that when you take the time to do this, you are giving yourself the permission and the room to grow over the next year. And that is incredibly important to remember, especially as you complete your end-of-year review.
Finally, step three of your end of the year review. This third and final step is all about taking your reflection and self-assessment and determining the exact things you want to bring with you into the new year. Specifically, what it is that you want to take from this year and bring it into the next year. Look through your own reflection and your own self-assessment. Are there any specific things that you’re proud of? Or anything in particular that you want to keep in the New Year?
These can be specific habits, mindsets, or actions that you did that you feel really good about. Think through and make a very specific list of the things that you want to take with you into the new year.
For instance, this past year we spent the first four months of the year dealing with my father-in-law getting sicker, as his cancer quickly spread. As he moved into hospice care, than passed away. Followed by, the last four months of the year, watching the same thing happen to our very first dog. This year has been pretty brutal.
We dealt with heartbreak on the front end, processing the grief of the heartbreak. Then heartbreak on the back end. As difficult as that is, as sad and defeating as all of that is. What I want to take away from this year and bring into 2024 is being present in each moment as it is. Despite the challenge, I want to be able to be present and fully appreciate each moment. Finding the joy and the good, even in the hard things.
Another thing that I want to take with me into the new year is the reminder that spending time outside is an instant mind boost for the soul. If I think through the hard moments and the most challenging seasons, I can easily point to the moments where I felt the happiest and most full of peace. Those have been the moments that I have spent outside. Moments spent walking, running, playing at the park or the playground. Even the simple moments spent on the driveway with sidewalk chalk and my son.
It’s been the simple moments that are spent outside that have brought me the most happiness. That’s something else I want to take with me into the new year. Doing the little things that I love, that bring me the most joy.
Therefore, think through your own list and reflect on the very specific things from this year that you want to take with you. The very things you want to bring with you into the New Year. Write them down, put them in your planner. Add them to your vision board. Whatever it is you are doing with your dreaming and planning for the new year. Add those things in and be intentional with bringing them with you as you head into 2024.
There you have it, the three part end of year review to wrap up your year as you head into the start of the next one! Starting with your reflection, followed by your self-assessment, then specifically taking the work done in the reflection and the self-assessment, and thinking through what specific things to bring with you to the brand new year.
I hope you spend these last few moments of 2023 with purpose and with intention. I cannot wait to meet you back here next year as we go out and try to make each day our best day. Not because we are perfect, not because we are doing everything correctly, but because we are finding the joy in the little things. Being present and intentional with how we live each moment, every single day. Until next time, have the best day!
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