The 5 Best Ways to Reflect on Your Year

I’m a little in denial about the year coming to an end! One great thing about having a blog is that it serves as a nice reminder of where I was (mentally and physically!) at any given point in time. Documenting my life can be weird at times, but I can’t deny that I love looking back in time! In addition to this day to day documentation, I still think it’s important to reflect at the end of every year. I do a big recap the last week of the year on the blog, and I think I’m going to take Maxie’s advice about writing myself a letter… what a great idea!


The 5 Best Ways to Reflect on Your Year

Guest post by Maxie McCoy

I love reflecting so much. For so many reasons but mainly because we all get so caught up in what we have not done that we forget what we have done. A single year may seem like no time at all, but the amount that you’ve grown, changed, experienced, and accomplished is way more than you can see – unless you reflect.

If you care about where you’re going in the new year, you have to care about where you’ve been. It’s not about obsessing over the past, but rather getting real #batshitgrateful for everything you’ve gone through and being the human that continued to show up come hell or high water for each of the last 365 days.

I’ve written here before on why I love reflecting, but there are also some really powerful ideas on HOW to do that. And trust me…I’ve experimented with what feels like everything. But here’s a few of my favorites.

Create an Annual Reflection Day – Reflection might sound fine and dandy, but especially during this crazy time of year it can be hard to find or make the time. But open up that planner of yours and find an hour or an afternoon that you sit with your thoughts, a journal, and a pen. Leave the world behind, leave your phone behind, and know that you have a point in time that this reflection will happen. If you don’t schedule it, though, it never will.

Do Guided Reflection – Powerful reflection (and the insights that come from it) is about being asked the right questions. Well, look no further. A few years ago I sat down and scribbled out all of the questions I wanted to answer to reflect (because asking people questions is my favorite thing…so I thought why not question myself). Well, I’ve turned those questions into a little workbook we can all use. You can get my 25 Questions for Reflection here.

Write a Letter to Your Year-Ago Self – If answering questions isn’t your thing, writing a love letter to your year-ago self is a great way to reflect on everything that has happened in the last year. Write to her and tell her everything that happened, all of your highlights, all of your lows, all of your lessons, and all of the experiences that she was about to embark on. It’s a fun and creative way to think about it all.

Reflect Daily – If you love the power of punctuated reflection, there’s no reason it only has to be an annual review. Daily log books, gratitude journals, and nightstand notebooks are a great way to remember what happened in a day or a week. They help you pause. They help you take it all in.

The more reflective you are, the more intentional you can be going forward.

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Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

I’m not in the habit of writing to my past self, but I do occasionally write letters to my future self! (This sometimes works for me because I find that my past self is usually more optimistic and hopeful, whereas my future self might need a little reminder and boost.) But writing letters to my future self also makes me reflect on the current and past -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s


Audrey – totally get it!! And agree. Sometimes letters to past self can help you release some of the stuff you’ve been holding on to 🙂


Such a lovely read! I’m still trying to comprehend what happened this year – so much has happened and starting my blog has helped me a lot with my depression and my mom not being here to support me. At the end of the day, we all have our own struggles and we need to learn to live with them. Onwards and upwards!

x Mariya


Sending you so much strength, Mariya.

I always say writing is my free therapy. Keep writing 🙂 xx


These are such a great reminder to self reflect on the past year and prepare for 2018. To add to reflect daily, my friend told me her trick where she writes one good thing that happened each day on a scrap of construction paper and then at the end of the year she made all of the scraps into a collage. Have a great week everyone! xAllie


I have trouble setting aside a chunk of time to reflect, so I have this 5 year journal that asks a question for every day of the year. So you can look back and see how your answer to the same question has changed over the years. It takes me less than 5 minutes to write in it each night and I love it!

XO Malinda


This was such a great post! I think it’s always nice to reflect in preparation for the new year. I love your idea or writing a letter to your year-ago self. It’s such a fun exercise to really get you thinking about what’s happened in the past year.



I love the idea of writing myself a letter! I have been contemplating a method of reflection for my 2017 (it’s been a great year!) and I think I might take Maxie’s tip and publish it on my blog. Thanks for featuring this!

Bridget | Amber Colored Roses

I love Maxie Monday’s and this one is no exception! I try to journal and reflect daily but sometimes that doesn’t happen. I really like the idea of writing a letter to your past self, I really need to block out a time to do that! There has been so much that has happened this year that I need to definitely reflect on!


You’re so sweet – thank you for loving these posts! And hope you have fun writing the letter!!