A woman sits at a long, black wooden desk near a large window. She’s writing in a notebook, reflecting on the past year. Photo by Hannah Olinger via Unsplash.
Affirmations & Journaling, Everyday Lifestyle

End of the Year Guided Reflection (Tag)

It’s commonplace at this time of year to look back on the past twelve months and assess all the things we have overcome, achieved and learned. Depending on what life threw at us; yearly retrospectives can sometimes be relatively difficult to work through, but they’re worth the effort if we’re really intentional about wanting to move forward with purpose.

And isn’t that the point of any new beginning; including memories to look back on that fuel the possibility of a fresh start or utilizing what we experienced to nourish personal growth?

Life is not easy, it’s peppered with ups and downs that go from falling to floating to soaring and back again; hopefully not all in a concentrated amount of time — but sometimes it happens like that. No matter what the past year has delivered; we should all consider what we can learn from it and where we want this supplementary knowledge to lead us.

Whether it’s about setting goals, making resolutions or taking stock of our lives; here are 9 questions to aid your end-of-year reflection

I haven’t tagged anyone specific to join this review of the past year but feel free to answer the questions yourself. If you share them in a blog post; please link back to this article so more people can join in and I can leave some encouragement for whomever takes part.

Foreground Text: End of the Year Guided Reflection Tag; Background Image: A woman sits at a long, black wooden desk near a large window. She’s writing in a notebook, reflecting on the past year. Photo by Hannah Olinger via Unsplash.

What 3 things (big or small) brought you joy this year?

2021 has been unbelievably tough, but these are three things that have persistently made me smile, laugh and/or experience moments of happiness:

  • Walks in nature (check out my Instagram for some of the beautiful flowers I find)
  • Cute dog videos (I’m corgi obsessed)
  • Getting back into blogging after taking most of 2020 off, including a number of months this year to care for my husband who was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in 2019

What unexpected challenges did you overcome? What did they teach you?

I developed some pretty formidable anxiety and depression in 2020 that has gripped me throughout this year as well; all related to the many prolonged struggles and setbacks my husband faced as he fought cancer — he is doing well now. While it didn’t stop me from caring for him and learning new skills I never thought I could master (tube feeding, wound care, t-tube suctioning, to name a few) it did create some intrusive thoughts about losing him that never let my mind rest. While I still have anxiety, it has become manageable and I am able to self-soothe and/or tell my anxiety to *apologies for the language* shut the fuck up. It’s brash but it really works because I am consciously catching my thoughts before they overrun me — this is a huge step forward.  

Share a selection of words that characterize your year …

I wouldn’t say these words necessarily encapsulate how my year has progressed, but I do feel like I’m being drawn to them. I notice them a lot and experience a sense that I need to pay attention to them (they sometimes show up in my dreams):

Reciprocity … Intentional … Nourishment … Authenticity … Growth … Connection

The word ‘mindfulness’ is written on a piece of paper in cursive handwriting; it rests on a window sill. Photo by Lesly Juarez via Unsplash.
photo by Lesly Juarez

What is your motto/mantra for 2022?

This is genuinely intriguing to think about, and I feel like I need to give it some careful consideration; off the top of my head through, I think it could possibly be the words of a poem I wrote in December 2020 called More To Come:

“You deserve to see how much more love will come your way — hold on.”

How has your relationship with yourself changed?

I would say it’s improving, especially as I learn how to be kinder to myself instead of allowing my inner voice to be overly critical and negative.

What do you wish you had spent less time doing?

Procrastinating, second guessing myself and reading comments on social media; most people are encouraging and remarkably wonderful, but some have reached peak levels of unremitting misery that I need to consciously avoid.

Did you achieve any personal goals?

I didn’t really set myself any goals but an unexpected one that I hope to maintain for the foreseeable future is improving my blog stats. Since June of this year (when I started blogging again), each month has increased site views from the last — which means for 6 months straight each monthly period has set a new record (November saw 18K+ views). One of the things I consistently second guess myself about is my writing, it’s really good to literally see I can trust myself more. 

What advice would you give yourself for the year ahead?

Practice more intentional joy; connect to what authentically nourishes growth; and practice reciprocity in all it’s forms (with people and nature) — that’s where those words come into use!

What are you going to focus on in the New Year?

I think if there’s going to be a “theme” for 2022 it should be ‘health and healing’. Through prioritising physical, mental and emotional well-being; including taking care of the soul, my husband and I can move forward into the healthiest versions of ourselves; coming out from under the shadow of cancer and enjoying more of the things that provide meaning and bring joy.

This is going to be my last post of 2021; I want to be fully present during the holidays and enjoy the rest of December as a time to relax, celebrate my birthday and see the new year in with renewed excitement and hope.

Don’t forget, if you’re going to answer these questions on your blog; please link back to this post so I can read your answers and leave you some love!

I wish you all a very Happy New Year!

What are your reflections about 2021? What are you looking forward to in 2022? Do you have any goals or resolutions?


Further Info:

Here are the questions if you want to take part in the tag:

What 3 things (big or small) brought you joy this year?

Share a selection of words that characterize your year …

What unexpected challenges did you overcome? What did they teach you?

How has your relationship with yourself changed?

What is your motto/mantra for 2022?

What do you wish you had spent less time doing?

Did you achieve any personal goals?

What advice would you give yourself for the year ahead?

What are you going to focus on in the New Year?

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82 thoughts on “End of the Year Guided Reflection (Tag)”

  1. Thank you for sharing this information about yourself- you certainly have been through a lot. Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy 2022. I look forward to engaging with you in the New Year.

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  2. I’m so happy for you that your husband is better; how hard it must have been for you both.
    I hope 2022 is a fantastic year for you both.

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  3. Sorry to hear about your husband’s stage 4 cancer diagnosis, I hope his treatment was affective.

    I did achieve some personal goals this year. I finally opened my blogs shop and started offering advertising space on my blog too. I also reached out to some potential supervisors at two university’s to do my PhD

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    1. Thank you — his last surgeries were in March this year (taking his total since 2019 to 20) and his other treatments have seemed to go well. 2022 should be a better year health-wise for him so I am focusing on that.

      It’s good to hear about the goals you achieved and the ones you are working towards — wishing you all the best as you pursue your PhD!

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  4. I love the idea of an end of year reflection and keeping it in writing is a lovely way to be able to compare each one to the next and see what has changed and where we have grown. The ‘year in words’ is my favorite reflection on here.
    May the words flow and happy holidays!

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  5. What a lovely, thoughtful post. I am so glad your husband is doing well. I had to smile about your comment re social media – you and me both! I love your advice to practice more intentional joy, we should all be following your lead.

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  6. What a beautiful reflection post. These are all such thoughtful questions and answers. I’m so proud of you for standing tall after tough times. 2022 is going to be a year for healing and putting mental health first for me as well. Thank you for sharing and I’m happy to hear that your husband is well! Happy holidays Molly!

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    1. I absolutely love nature walks, they have been a real highlight this year. My husband is doing well, his last surgeries were in March this year and he has made good progress since — thank you for asking!

      It’s great to hear you had some lovely progress with your career and confidence, I hope that continues into 2022 and it’s a great year for you!

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  7. The pandemic has been tough for us. My mantra this year was Focus on the Good. It helped me survive all the challenges of 2021. I’m planning to start some new projects next year and I need the courage to take the first step. I guess my mantra for 2022 is Be Brave! Haha… Anyway hope you’ll have a great time on your birthday and a great new year too!

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  8. I’m really bad at resolutions and always keeping a positive attitude. But the one thing I am always thankful for is my family and their love. Thanks for sharing such positive blog!

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  9. Aw, prioritizing overall well-being is really necessary. Good luck with your goals and I hope you achieve all of them. I enjoyed reading this post. Thanks for sharing!

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  10. What a thoughtful personal reflection of the year. Thank you for being vulnerable to share these parts of your year with us. I appreciate how honest these questions are with looking at all aspects of the year and not just the overly positive. That’s wonderful news that 2022 is going to be a much better one health wise for your husband ❤

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    1. I wanted to provide questions that gave a proper reflection of the year, giving a chance to really take a look at what we’ve come through (which can be either/or/both positive and negative). I hope the questions themselves help anyone else wanting to put a line under what’s been while looking forward. Thank you so much for reading, I hope you have a wonderful 2022!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. This is such a lovely tag – it’s great to reflect on the year! I’m so glad to hear that your husband’s doing better now, you both seem incredibly strong. Thank you so much for sharing, hoping next year is a good one for you both x

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  12. I very much like the idea of writing down your challenges and accomplishments throughout the year. It is a great way to appreciate how much stronger you have become and evaluate what is more important.
    I hope you achieve all your goals set for the new year and above all I wish you a year of good health for you and your husband.
    Merry Christmas!

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  13. A loved one with cancer on top of everything we’ve all been dealing with the past two years is a lot. I’m glad you’re coming out of it. Hope 2022 continues to improve.

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  14. Thank you for sharing this post. You’ve truly been through the mills the past few years but you’ve come out of it the other side. I love the idea of looking back on all you’ve accomplished over the past year before moving onto the new year. Congratulations on your blog growth! I really love following and reading along your posts!

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    1. It feels good to be able to look back again as I avoided it because it was too difficult. It’s great to see the past clearly and know where/how to move forward. I am so glad you like reading my work (I’m a total fan of your site) so it’s good to hear that — thank you!

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  15. Excellent post! Don’t doubt your writing, it’s honest and compelling and I love reading your stuff. I’m glad to hear your husband is doing better now. May your new year be filled with lots of laughter and love.

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  16. Lovely post, Molly! I hope 2022 will be an amazing year for you and your husband too. Finding the courage to silence those anxious thoughts is such a huge step too, you should be proud of yourself. And love the mantra for the new year ”You deserve to see how much more love will come your way — hold on.” Adding this to my affirmation list xx Penny / whatdidshetype.blogspot.com

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  17. I love this idea of a guided reflection. It is so important that before we close out a chapter or year in our life to take time to reflect back and absorb all that it brought to us. Thank you for sharing

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  18. Thank you for sharing a more personal side, I hope you had a lovely Christmas and I’m sorry to hear about your husband. Hopefully 2022 will offer you a happier and healthier hand. I love your reflections, they were very touching and I look forward to reading your thoughts on 2022! Em x

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  19. Thank you for sharing some of this personal information. It’s not always to write about yourself like that, especially when it’s for other peoples’ eyes, too. I’m glad to hear that you and your husband are doing well and learning how to deal with some these troubles that life has thrown at you.

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  20. I’m so glad you’re learning how to trust and love yourself. That is such an important lesson, and I hope you can be even kinder to yourself in 2022. If you don’t believe in yourself, who will?

    Like

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