twenty reflection questions for 2016

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

– Psalm 90:12

Over doing dishes together at the kitchen sink mid-way through last night’s dinner, I told G that today was set aside as “Reflection Day.” I was going to use my Christmas Day off-in-lieu to ponder on a year past and how I was planning to enter into 2017.

I’m big on making my time count, and so Psalm 90:12 really resonates with me. I believe that God has truly placed purpose in each of our lives, and so we are to steward the days and moments that we’ve been given well. Part of doing that is to reflect, review and plan ahead.

I’m tired of making resolutions that I have no real (game-)plan of keeping, so this year I’m discarding the same old things I say to myself every year. No more, “I will get fit!” or “I will save money!” sweeping statements. I’m getting specific, and I’m interested in finding out where the bottlenecks are, so that I can target problems at their root and work towards getting better at trouble areas.

So, I searched online for some reflection questions and came upon “30 Questions to Help You Reflect For the New Year”. Kept my promise and took a couple hours out at a cafe to do my 2016 reflecting. After going through the whole list of 30 questions, I’d adapt the questions from the source though, as some themes were repetitive and some I didn’t find too helpful. I’d also add some questions that help me reflect on my walk with the Lord.

Hence… presenting below… “20 Questions to Reflect on 2016 and Get You Ready for 2017”!

A few notes: As I went through this list, admittedly a few regrets and negative comments came up in my mind. These shouldn’t be ignored, but don’t dwell on them for too long for this exercise. Be honest with yourself, but don’t beat yourself up! We are all works-in-progress at any given time in our life.  Also, I found it helpful to go through my social media posts (Instagram / Facebook) as a means of recalling what happened this year. I also leafed through my handwritten journal pages and skimmed through its contents. Finally, but very importantly, go through this list prayerfully and ask God to guide you. I pray that God will cause gratitude, faith, and hope to rise in your heart and direct your thoughts and emotions. May any regrets be turned to motivation to commit areas of our weaknesses into His hands as we rest easy knowing that He can mold and change us; may any fears be overtaken by the peace that comes from trusting in Him for the future. I hope this exercise be a fruitful one for you as it has been for me!

20 Questions to Reflect on 2016 and Get You Ready for 2017

  1. Describe your 2016 in 3 words.
  2. What was the most memorable moment of 2016?
  3. What were 3 moments in 2016 in which you felt the happiest?
  4. What was your most common emotional state this year?
  5. What new skills did you learn this year?
  6. What personal qualities or habits did you develop or strengthen?
  7. What new things did you discover about yourself?
  8. What little things did you enjoy doing on a daily basis?
  9. What big things did you do that required you to step out of your comfort zone?
  10. What achievements are you most proud of for accomplishing this year?
  11. What are you most thankful to God for doing in your life this year, and why?
  12. Who are you most thankful to God for bringing into your life this year, and why?
  13. How did you spend time with family in 2016 and how have those relationships evolved?
  14. If you could redo some things in 2016, what would you do differently?
  15. What new things do you want to try in 2017?
  16. What do you want to achieve, career-wise, in 2017?
  17. What is a Bible verse that encapsulates your direction or vision for 2017?
  18. What do you want to completely get rid of in your life, and how will you make it happen in 2017?
  19. Describe how you would like 2017 to be in 3 words.
  20. What are 3 non-negotiable things that must happen in order for 2017 to be a successful year by your definition?
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