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End of year review and celebration: Option 1

Alison Laycock

Every year I do some sort of review and celebration of the year for my personal life and now I add in a business review too for my business ‘Being the Best You Can Be’. A review can be done in many ways and here I share one which was for the end of 2019 ahead of starting a new decade. I love reviews and celebrating successes before I move on to something new as I find it puts the year into perspective. As we go through each month, there will no doubt be many highs and lows, mistakes made and learnings found and it can feel a completely different experience when we are in it to when we look back with perspective and look at the whole year.

You can do this all in one go or take it a day at a time.

Day 1 of the review

You may wish to read through it all first or read as you get to each part. It is up to you, you are in charge of this exercise for yourself. Before we start, I invite you to have a pen & paper ready or a recording device as you may want to express your thoughts somewhere. Please find a comfortable place to sit, where you can be still with your thoughts & will not be interrupted by people or an irritating noise.

If you wish to, then feel free to put on some soothing music. Whatever arises from this exercise today & the following days, I want you to be kind to yourself in the moment & in relation to any memories that come up for you.

Let’s begin:

Sitting in a comfortable position in a chair or on the floor, take 3 natural breaths inhaling & exhaling at your natural pace and say ‘I am here’.

1) WORD for your year: Allow your mind to take you through your year from January right through to now and see what word arises for you.

Write it down without question. It may not be a word you would have chosen but that’s ok, it may not be the word you would say to your family and friends and that’s alright as this exercise is for you. They can review their own year. Don’t judge the word simply acknowledge it and write it down.

When you are ready move on to question 2:

2) Feeling/Emotion: When you sit here now looking back over the year, what is the feeling that arises.

Are you contented? Disappointed? Whatever the feeling accept it without judgement or question and write it down. Allow yourself to feel whatever that feeling is and write down all that comes to mind. Make note of anything else you may wish to come back to later.

When finished say to yourself or out loud, my word for the year is: My feeling/ emotion for the year is:

Stay seated and return to your breath, breathing naturally and accepting whatever arose from the exercise. Congratulate yourself for doing the exercise and for living those years. Whatever you did in all those moments, you did for a reason & you did the best you could in those moments.

Day 2:

Welcome back.

Today our 2 questions are quite heavy in content so you may wish to do them at separate times and that’s ok.

So let’s begin: I invite you to find your comfortable position once you have found your pen & paper as there will be lots to write today I’m sure.

You are also able to switch the order of questions today as I have put them in my order as I always go for the positive first, however if you prefer to finish in a positive then please do so.

Take 3 breaths at your natural pace of inhaling and exhaling and simply sit with the breath until you are ready to begin.

1) SUCCESSES/ACHIEVEMENTS/POSITIVES (whatever your preferred word is): whilst sitting with your breath, I invite you to allow yourself to think of all that has gone well in this year. This can be anything you consider as a positive and please don’t compare to others, a small for you could be big for someone else and vice versa and that’s ok but we are doing your year. Maybe some of these were expected and some unexpected. Is there a difference in feeling? Now with all those successes in your mind, I invite you to fully embrace them, feel the success & the glow of your achievements. Allow yourself all the glory & congratulate yourself as that is all the congratulations that you need. Write down anything you wish to remember, you may wish to list all your achievements for the year. Are there any that surprise you? Any you had forgotten? Maybe there are some you wanted but aren’t there & that’s ok.

Now we move onto part 2:

2) WHAT HASN’T GONE WELL: Again we return to the breath, taking 3 breaths at your natural pace & promise yourself that you will be kind with yourself. Now looking back over the past year, I invite you to consider what hasn’t worked this year & explore why. Sometimes our hopes aren’t meant to work & that’s ok & you can acknowledge it if this is the case. Will you carry an unfilled dream to next year or is it time to let it go? Either is ok. Allow the feeling to come when you think of those areas that haven’t worked, it’s ok & it will be ok. Notice your feelings & responses to what hasn’t worked & jot down any thoughts you want. Maybe there is something you still want to achieve so write it down.

This will all help when you move forward into 2022 so as we return to the breath, thank yourself for taking the time to do this exercise no matter how difficult it may have been. You may wish to sit with your thoughts, memories & feelings for a bit & when ready you can carry on with your day.

Day 3:

Today we focus on Personal Development/ growth & all that encompasses in part 1 & part 2 will cover the People who have been involved in our personal lives.

Let’s begin:

1) PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT: once you’re in your comfortable position as we’ve done over the other days & have your pen & paper at hand to make notes, take 3 natural breaths to start the process. Whilst focusing on your breath, allow yourself to think about your past year, who you have been, how you have grown & developed. Have you lived your authentic life? Are your values clear to you & others? Have you covered the areas you wanted to cover or are there areas of growth that still evade you? Let it all come through & allow yourself to feel whatever emotions arise. Are you proud of yourself? Has it been a difficult year? Maybe this year has less growth than others, why is that? Allow all the answers to come through. Sit with your thoughts & feelings & acknowledge them. Don’t judge them, simply sit with them. Make any notes you need to. Congratulate yourself for all you have been through in your personal life.

When ready move on to part 2:

2) PEOPLE: Take as long as you need with this section depending on how many people you need to think about & acknowledge.

Allow all the people involved in your personal life, growth & development to.come through. There may be some who have inspired you, challenged you or supported you. Perhaps there are some who haven’t supported you in the way you would want. Who are the sustainers in your life? Those who allow you to grow & are always there & cheer you up, comforting you like a fire or radiator bringing warmth? Maybe there are also drainers? Those who leave you feeling worn out, sad or not accepted.

This exercise can help us see ourselves & others clearly as we allow ourselves time to really consider the people in our lives & our relationships with them. It may help us value a friendship more or encourage us to start putting in boundaries with some. Whatever you feel, it’s ok as you are important & deserve to spend your time with those who value you. Sit with those thoughts & feelings for as long as you wish & when you are ready take 3 natural breaths to end the exercise today.

Day 4

As in previous days, I invite you to find your comfortable position & take 3 natural breaths to start this exercise. Let’s begin:

1) PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: As you follow your breath, I invite you to allow your mind to think about your professional development & all that has happened this year. The courses you’ve attended, the areas you’ve grown in & also any areas you haven’t been able to spend time on. Do you still want to tackle those areas? If so, save them for next year & if not, that’s ok it’s ok to let them go. Have you remained authentic to yourself? Are your values firmly in place? Make any notes you wish to make. Before we move on to the next part, offer yourself some words of congratulations for whatever you have gone through professionally this year. If you want to come back to this later then take 3 natural breaths to end this exercise & remember to take them again before starting the next part.

2) PEOPLE: As you follow your breath, I invite you to think of all the people in your professional life, those who have inspired, challenged & supported you. Maybe there have been issues with some where the relationship hasn’t gone as well as you would like & allow yourself to explore that now. What thoughts & feelings arise in you when you think of certain people. Have you supported others in their growth? Been a mentor to someone at work? Let it all come to mind & notice where your thoughts & feelings go to. What’s your overall feeling towards those people in your professional life? Make any notes you wish to & sit with those thoughts & feelings for as long as you need. When ready take 3 natural breaths to end this exercise.

Day 5:

Welcome to your last day of the review & well done for completing the whole review.

1) GRATITUDE: In this exercise I invite you to express your gratitude for all you have acknowledged over the past few days. Maybe you’ve noticed there are people or other aspects of your life that you are grateful for. You can do that in the form of lists, writing about it, expressing it to the person you are grateful to/ for or whatever way appeals to you. As you’re doing this consider that word & feeling you had in day 1 for the year. Is that still relevant or do you need to change it?

I hope you enjoyed the review and if you would like to join me for some personal/professional development in 2022 then please check out

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