The new year is approaching, which means that many people will begin assessing their new year resolutions and looking ahead at the next year in a couple weeks. But before you do that and lose sight of 2018, knowing that many of you journal, I wanted to share an exercise that I do every year in my own journal that I thought might be enjoyable and meaningful.
I first got the idea from Chris Guillebeau five years ago, and the reason I do it is because it helps me to not only document life for future reference, but also, to revisit and reflect on what was meaningful, what I learned, and what I overcame throughout the past year.
I'm finding that purpose is something that you must ponder and steward, and that one of the most practical ways to do such a thing is through exercises like this one that push you to consciously think through your life in a useful way.
So, to conduct an annual review, all you do is journal through these 6 questions:
1) What went well this year?
2) What did not go well this year?
3) What were the major lessons that I learned this year?
4) What goals do I have for next year?
5) What Bible verse or word from God carried me through the year?
My annual bonus question:
6) What were my favorite songs and albums from this year? (Luckily, Spotify helps me with this one now by creating the playlist for me, but this is always a fun one to look back on. Feel free to make up your own fun questions (like top movies, restaurants, etc.)
I've been doing this simple exercise since 2014, and it's a great way to measure what is working and what isn’t across time, to ponder what to focus on more, and to meditate on what you're orienting your life around and toward.
Next year at this time, I promise you that you will be glad you reviewed and documented your year. And two years from now, you will be twice as glad.
Journaling is an investment into your future self, and I've never met someone who regretted doing it.