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End of Year Review: A Mental Health Checkup for Healing in the New Year

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End of Year Review: A Mental Health Checkup for Healing in the New Year

The everyday, ordinary moments form the heart of life. They matter, especially when you treat them like they do. The same goes for new years: they’re chances for something different, something better, but that only rings true if we believe in restoration. (I do.) This is my end of year review, here to inspire hope in you, and a great tool for intentional healing.

You can complete an end of year review for every area of your life (career, general purpose, relationships, financials, and so on).

In fact, you can use the following approach to guide your end of year review no matter which area you’re focusing on. This is a beautiful practice because it’s flexible and focused — it forces you, gently, to craft a future that’s more aligned with what you love and want more of in your life.

End of year reviews urge you to be more intentional about what comes next.

This review in particular helps you look at your state of mental well-being and identify what worked for you this year, what didn’t work (equally important), and how you can deepen your healing next year by consciously designing your schedule around what works.

Whether you’re recovering from loss, addiction (not necessarily involving substances), or trauma of any kind, or you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, an end of year review focusing on your mental health is a priceless gift of hope — a stronger promise of renewal than merely wishing things were better.

“You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress, simultaneously.” — Sophia Bush

There are four things to focus on here:

  1. This year’s highlights.
  2. What didn’t work/isn’t working.
  3. What did work/is working.
  4. Next year’s laser focus.

I provided my answers within each category to give you an idea of what someone’s answers might look like. Hint: your answers can be at once super simple and incredibly informative.

As always, may this serve your healing journey.

An End of Year Review for More Intentional Healing Patterns: Things to Focus On

1. The highlights.

What were the highlights of this past year? If it helps, set a timer for 3-10 minutes and write down anything that comes to mind and heart. Just let it all out.

What obviously brought you joy or pain? Did this make it to the list (sometimes we miss some of the “big” things)?

What mattered most to you this year, now that you’re looking back on it? Do you notice any patterns with what you listed?

Mine:

  • Working with my high performance coach, Jennifer Pearce (can’t recommend her enough), each month.
  • Trip to California with a few family members.
  • Spontaneous trip to Maine with the boyfriend.
  • Writing outside all summer long: with midday swimming in the lake and yoga on the deck.
  • Published first book.
  • Wrote two more books.
  • Started writing full time. Left day job.
  • Nephew turned 1.
  • Long-time girlfriend got married.
  • That amazing autumn view at the lake and that other one at the reservoir.
  • Surprise vacation for my three year anniversary.

I notice patterns of freedom, nature/exploration, relationships, and expression.

2. What didn’t work.

What approaches, methods, systems, practices, good intentions, choices, beliefs, products, or relationships didn’t work and still aren’t working for you? Can you spot any mistakes, without judgment, that could be prevented in the future?

Mine:

  • Missing several days of yoga in a row.
  • Eating junk food.
  • Forgetting to drink a glass of water after every alcoholic drink.
  • Spending time with certain people.
  • Feeling guilty/saying sorry for things I don’t need to be sorry for.
  • Cluttering my workload with unnecessary projects. Confusion.

“I know this transformation is painful, but you’re not falling apart; you’re just falling into something different, with a new capacity to be beautiful.” — William C. Hannan

3. What did work.

What did work this year and still is working for you? Why did it work and is it something that can be replicated and sustained, even improved upon?

Mine:

  • Nature walks and generally making myself go outside more (never regret it).
  • Weekends off. Freedom.
  • Reducing my blog posting schedule to 3 X weekly. Freedom.
  • Deciding not to force inspiration. Allowing.
  • Meditating daily.
  • Coaching sessions. Expression.
  • Adopting a more relaxed attitude toward writing (just letting it flow out of me instead of nit-picking and delaying). (Writing is my healing, but not when I force/overthink things.)
  • Sabbatical from alcohol.
  • Spending time with certain people.

4. Future focus.

List only 3-5 things you’re going to focus on this coming year in relation to your mental health (take your time with this one; it requires digging, passion, resonance). Let your answers revolve around what’s working in your life and what patterns you noticed in step 1 (highlights).

What practices, tools, and support systems will help you make these things happen?

Mine:

  1. Connection. (Relationships.)
  2. Exploration.
  3. Physical vitality.

Things that’ll support me:

  • Continuing coaching sessions.
  • Quality time with certain people. Need to laugh more.
  • Mindful time in nature.
  • Alcohol cleanse.
  • Sugar cleanse.
  • Go to yoga classes. Try pilates. Exploration. Make connections.
  • Meditation. Explore varieties.
  • Nutrition plan. Seek guidance from best friend (who's a holistic health counselor).

“The key to truly rewarding focus is doing what lights you up. Passion is like a laser beam. If you’re easily distracted, you’re not in love enough with what you’re doing.” - Danielle Laporte

. . .

Tell me:

What didn’t work this year?

What did work?

What are you focusing on this coming year that’ll help you heal?

Tell me in the comments. I read every single one, and I’d love to know!

Love for another chance,

Jen

P.S. Need a touch more inspiration? Wake up with hope in your heart with my new book (released just this week!): Morning Affirmations: 200 Phrases for an Intentional and Openhearted Start to Your Day.

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