As the year draws to an end, many of us are beginning to look ahead to the new year, filled with motivation and aspirations for everything we want to achieve.
While it might be tempting to write off the last 12 months completely, there is value in taking some time to reflect on how the year went.
But instead of a goals-based review focused on where you “succeeded” or “failed,” try reviewing how your life went in relation to your core values.
Did you spend your time, money, and energy on things that served you well – in business or in your personal life?
What values took backstage, and what values played leading roles this year – and why?
A values review can be a powerful way to learn about yourself and those around you.
If you’d like to end the year on a positive note and gain some empowering insights, read on to find out how to conduct your own end of year values review.
Your End Of Year Values Review
What Is A Values Review?
Think of a values review as a kind of purposeful self-check-in. It’s a chance to pause and look back on a time period objectively to notice how it went.
This doesn’t have to be a scary or structured process. It’s designed to help you move towards being the person you desire to be and living the life that aligns best with your values, so it shouldn’t be pressured or negative.
While the end of the year feels like a natural time to do a values review, you can do them whenever you like – during a rough patch, when you’re having a great month, or just as a mid-year check-in (which I guide you through in more detail over on my Mid-Year Review blog).
How To Approach Your End Of Year Values Review
Your end of year values review is a chance to sit down and have a bit of a chat with yourself. If you can, try to schedule in a few hours of uninterrupted you-time.
Journaling is one of the best ways to maximise the benefits of a values review, and often works better on paper, so you will need a notebook and pen.
You might like to add a few extras to your self-reflection to make it feel special, like a scented candle, some relaxing background music, or a short meditation to get you in the right frame of mind.
Then, it’s a matter of asking yourself some key questions and letting your thoughts flow onto the paper, unjudged and authentic.
Remember, this is a pressure-free, authentic activity designed to help you connect with your core values; try not to overthink, and just trust that whatever flows onto the page is what you need to hear from yourself.
Here are some prompts to help you get started:
1. What worked for you in the last year?
Looking back, what makes you feel good about the last year? You don’t have to focus on achievements (although you can certainly include these), but more about when you felt you were living in true alignment with your values.
What happened that you were proud of. How did you act or react in ways that felt right for you?
The way we spend our time and money can also indicate where our priorities lie, so it can be helpful to ask:
- What was time well spent?
- What was money well spent?
2. What didn’t work so well?
We don’t want to dwell on the negatives, but it’s useful to reflect on the things that didn’t feel so fantastic this year.
- What was time wasted?
- What was money wasted?
Are there things you spent your time and energy on that you feel took you in the wrong direction or out of alignment? These questions will help provide clarity on what may have held you back.
Reflect on this without judgement. This is about learning and evolving, not about giving yourself a hard time for the decisions you made to cope with a tough year.
3. Relational Values
The people around us can also provide clues to where our values lie, and show us where we may need to set boundaries or devote more energy in the year ahead to build positive, supportive relationships.
- Who supported me and how?
- Who did I support and how?
What Comes Next?
Once you’ve completed your values review, don’t just stash it in a drawer and rush off to the next thing on your list. Take a little time to sit with any insights that you may have unearthed. Read over your notes, and consider if they can impact the way you approach the coming year.
Make sure to finish up on a positive note instead of dwelling on any negatives that may be running through your brain – and there could be many after the year that we’ve all had!!
Choose to celebrate instead with gratitude for the last 12 months and an opportunity to connect more closely with your values in the days ahead.
And, if you want to delve into what your core values are in greater detail, then you can download my free values assessment resource here.
You can also make a booking here for a thorough 2 hour session where I will help you unpack your top 10 core personal values. This work will ensure you start the new year with greater clarity about what’s important in your life and what you should focus on in your life to experience greater joy and fulfillment.