end of year review

Year in Review

Well, 2020 was a crazy year like nothing we’ve ever experienced before. Maybe it is best not to look back and forget about it. On the other hand, I’ve learned that joy and sadness “sit together at the same table.” There had to have been good things that happened last year too. I am sure of that. So, despite the ready-to-be-rid-of-you sentiments I have for 2020, I took time this last weekend to create my “mind-map” version of the year in review. I’ve done this for a few years now, and I enjoy the one-page at-a-glance view of the year that I receive as a result.

I typically review my calendar, my journal, and my photos to create my map. I also like to do a verbal review with my husband; he makes his drawing, and we compare notes.

Look back to learn, give thanks, and celebrate how far you’ve come.

I write in pencil first, separating work from family as I can. You’ll see it can get messy. I don’t always space the months out well – a bit of trauma for a recovering perfectionist, but oh well. I’ve learned – with effort – to allow the process to carry more importance than the appearance. 🙂 Later, I return to darken or highlight the more important and more impactful events or happenings. It helps me to see, in print, the many diverse influences on my life.

This process usually takes me a few hours, and that gives me time to reflect – rejoicing and grieving, observing patterns (Last year, I wrote in my journal A LOT that I felt tired), and sensing gratitude for learning, growth, and progress made through the months.

People review the past year in many different ways.
What have you done to reflect on a past year or look forward to the next?

4 thoughts on “end of year review

  1. I think this is such a good process. I find, for me, that I generally remember the unpleasant parts if a year without trying, so I like to write the best of the year to remember those things also. It helps.me to see God’s goodness more clearly. As far as a new year goes, I write a letter to myself considering what the year may bring, then I open it the following year on my birthday (late January) to reflect on what the year was. It’s a fun tradition that makes me look forward to my birthday more.

    • Yes, intentional remembrance of the good is an exercise/practice of gratitude – not always easy but very important. I like your idea of the letter to yourself. I’m sure it’s interesting to read in the future. Thanks for sharing that idea!

  2. My immediate response was similar to your first one–it’s water over the dam and needs to be forgotten. Just move forward. Keep swimming. But thinking about this past year, what was good and hard, what was challenging and new, what God was showing me, and how I showed up, has been an exercise in tenacious mindfulness that isn’t typical of me. But it’s been good. This was a tough year, but the Lord’s goodness was shining throughout. Thanks for inviting me into the process, my friend.

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