The Best Gift You Can Give Yourself This Year? An End of Year Review…

This is a guest post written by Iti Malken, Iti’s Personal Development Expert and Upgrade Creator.

Usually at this time of year you can think about what New Year will yield, and you may find that you’ve filled your calendar with events and plans. But before you start focusing on 2023, it’s important that you purposefully end the old year.

Iti Malken is a self-development expert and creator Leveled up by Iti method says, “At the end of the year, we can forget a lot of what happened. We might think the year didn’t go so well. However, after writing our annual review, we soon realized we had a lot more success than we initially remembered.”

Sitting down for an annual review takes time, patience, and can feel a little uncomfortable and confrontational. Why take the time to do this when you might be watching that festive Netflix movie you could ask for?

Reflecting on the year is an effective way to understand the patterns in your life and whether you are moving in circles. This allows you to find new and better ways than the usual paths and record the successes and losses in your life. Celebrate victories and be compassionate to things that don’t go well. The important thing here: the clarity you get is the basis for new ideas and positive change.

It truly is the perfect antidote to the chaos of Christmas, giving you much-needed time to reflect and giving you a head start to the year ahead, your goals and vision. .

Iti Malken, a personal development expert, says, “Your annual review is truly the best gift you can give yourself at the end of each year and will give you a solid foundation on which to lay your foundation. out and achieve your goals. For me, it has become an essential part of my own personal development journey and can be even more effective than creating a vision board.


Often, we are so focused on our goals for the new year that we forget to appreciate the accomplishments of the past 12 months. With the year 2023 approaching, now is a great time to pause and reflect on the past twelve months by writing your year-end personal review.

This exercise will help prepare you for January success by reflecting on what you’ve achieved during the year, the obstacles you’ve encountered and overcome, and most importantly, the lessons you’ve learned. Take it as an honest look at the year and what went well, your accomplishments and the things that probably didn’t go so well.

An annual review is not easy. But when you commit to an honest look at your year—your ups and downs, your actions, your thoughts—you change the trajectory of your life.

Things you’ll need to make your assessment

Plan on about two hours of uninterrupted time when you can be alone. Think of it as a small retreat and create a comfortable environment where you can relax. You can use the table or spread on the floor. Grab a cup of tea, light a candle, or do whatever you need to feel nourished and creative. Try to turn off the phone and notifications.

You will need some big white paper and a pen and ideally you Journal, notebook and diary from year so you can review everything. If you use a note-taking app on your phone and tend to store everything digitally then you can use your phone, just make sure it’s on airplane mode for part one.

How to get started

You can review your year in a way that you feel comfortable with, and you can review it based on your own criteria. You may want to look directly at the goals you’ve set for 2022. What goals have you achieved and what goals can you move into 2023?

You may want to review your old diaries and notebooks for the year and evaluate each month. Remember that there is not only one way to do this and if you personalize the process you will be more likely to enjoy it and then it can become an annual ritual that you begin to look forward to. .

The simplest strategy is to divide the review into two parts. You will find a series of questions below, which will give you an overview of where you are now, and delve deeper into different areas of your life and shed light. points you might want to make changes.

Once you’ve settled into your space with everything you need, you can do a short 10-minute meditation to get into the present moment.

Then take the time to write freely in your journal. How are you feeling right now? What emotions are coming? Don’t judge what you’re writing – it could just be keywords that are popping up or even ideas. There is no judgment.

Now is the time to start jotting down answers to some questions that will help you organize your thoughts and feelings. Again, there is no right or wrong way to do this. Just allow yourself to answer them freely and without judgment. Some may feel more suitable than others.

General question

What was your main highlight of the year?

What are you most proud of?

What went well? What didn’t go well?

What was the biggest lesson (or lessons) you learned this year?

What new skills have you learned this year?

What has been the most challenging for you, and how does it make you feel?

What are your three biggest work achievements? What contributed to them?

Are there any goals other than the work you achieved that you are proud of?

Have you developed any healthy habits that you would like to keep?

What was the best decision you made all year? What did you learn from it?

People and relationships

How has your relationship with yourself changed this year?

Who in your life are you most grateful for?

Who has inspired you the most this year and how?

Who has had the biggest negative impact on your life? Why?

What new relationships have enhanced your life? Who? How?

Next year

Now that you’ve reflected on the past 12 months, it’s time to start thinking about 2023. You should now have a clear understanding of what you want to do and your aspirations so you can begin the strategic planning section.

To get started, answer the following questions

What would your dream year look like in 2023?

What does success in 2023 mean to you?

What three big goals will you accomplish in the coming year?

How do your goals for 2023 translate into actionable habits and processes?

What habits, behaviors or attitudes do you need to develop or adopt in the coming year?

What habits and behaviors do you need to change?

Try to dig deeper into the questions and answer them fully, really identifying the why and the rationale behind the desire to achieve each goal.

Turn your dreams into possible goals

You have mastered the profound work of your annual review. What remains is a plan to help you work towards the desired outcome in 2023.

Once you’ve broken down your dreams into actionable processes, summarize your thoughts on a piece of paper. This summary will be your foundation for 2023. Put it somewhere you can see it every day like in a mirror.

The recommendation with this is to break down each goal into manageable steps with each goal having a monthly progress check. To keep the momentum going, it’s important to check where you are at so that any issues or red flags can be addressed.

For best results, perform this review every 3 months or so, review previously set goals, and add new goals as needed.

Set yourself up for success

Remember that once you have your goals in place and you have a clear path to guide you, you need to let go of your vision. Remember that you can only control most of the process and that is your thoughts and input. Of course there will be some bends in the road and you will need to stay on track, or perhaps you decide that something you planned before is no longer relevant. The only thing you need to focus on at any given time is the next tangible step.

I hope these questions help you as you work out your goals for the new year, and I hope they help you celebrate yourself and your accomplishments.


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