The Practice of Year-End Reflection

By Leo Babauta

Every year, I like to close the year by reflecting on my past year. I find it to deepen the learning I’ve made, plus it makes me more appreciative of the power of a year.

I reflected a bit on my past year in this post, but before that, I spent about an hour writing a journal entry on 2015.

It was a great practice. To really reflect on the year, I had to remember everything about the year. Here’s how I did it:

All of this showed me what I’ve been working on, what I’ve been obsessed about, what I’ve been learning, what I’ve read, where I’ve gone, who I spent time with. As I looked over all of this, I took notes if something struck me as noteworthy. You don’t have to go through as much data, but it’s interesting.

Then I wrote up a journal entry on all of it, and reflected on what this year has been like for me. It helped me deepen my learning that seemed sporadic and unconnected until I reflected back on all of it.

This practice helped me to see what I’ve done over the last year, and it kind of amazes me. I would never have guessed that I’d have done all of that, I didn’t plan it, it just ended up being what I was moved to do.

I also was able to see how I’ve changed over the last year. In small steps, I’ve become a different person. The Leo from a year ago would want to be friends with me, I think.

I highly recommend this year-end practice, as a way to close out the year and say goodbye to all that you’ve been through.