A look back: Make the most of the past through deliberate reflection


The end of the year usually brings with it a flurry of activity. However, this is a crucial time to take a step back from the festivity and reflect on the Lunar year that has gone past – to cherish it, and to learn from it.

We spend a lot of time doing many things in order to be more “productive”, in the pursuit of a “better” life. But we can get so caught up in “doing” that we fail to take the time to ask ourselves WHY we are doing.

If you find yourself too busy to take some time out to look back, perhaps that is exactly when you need to do it the most.

Taking the time to look back and say, “Thanks for the memories” not only deepens our sense of gratitude for the good moments that have come our way, but also our sense of heritage. Acknowledging, accepting, and appreciating the things that have shaped us into who we are today – good or bad – helps us embrace our roots and ultimately, our self-identity.

Furthermore, when things get overwhelming, a step back can often help you clear your head, analyse the situation, reflect on and realign your priorities, and decide where you need to focus on the most.

Finally, reflecting gives you the opportunity to learn from the mistakes and lessons of the past to be better prepared for what’s ahead.

Do it: Take some time out as the year comes to a close to reflect.

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • What have I spent most of my time doing last year?
  • Are these things related to my main passions / goals? If not, why?
  • What significant achievements did I accomplish?
  • What am I most proud of?
  • Which areas have I failed in? How can I do better next time?
  • What are some lessons that last year has taught me?
  • Who were the people significant in my life? Do I want to maintain these connections?
  • What is one thing I wish I had done in the past year?
  • What is one thing I’m glad I did?

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