Today, I wanted to speak about an activity you complete at the end of each year, which helps you reflect on the year’s happenings and start fresh into the new year. It is the first year I have done this activity, and I found it exceptional to close out the year as it empowered me about what I could achieve next year. This blog will explain how to complete this activity and why it is essential.

How to Complete the Year Compass?

You can download the Year Compass at this link

You first focus on the past year.

  • You start by getting all the tools to complete this activity around you, closing your eyes, and taking five deep breaths.
  • When you are ready, you first need to go through last year’s calendar week by week and write down important events, projects, and social gatherings. I wrote down parties, university events, work projects, non-university events, webinars I attended, volunteering positions, and social gatherings with friends and family.
  • The next step is to write the significant events and behaviors within the categories of 1) personal life/family, 2) career/studies, 3) friends/community, 4) relaxation/hobbies/creativity, 5) physical health/fitness, 6) mental health/self-knowledge, 7) habits that define you, and 8) a better tomorrow
  • After, you finish six sentences about your past year: 1) “The wisest decision I made was…”, 2) “The biggest lesson I learned…”, 3) “The biggest risk I took…”, 4) “The biggest surprise of the year…”, 5) “The most important thing I did for others…”, and 6) “The biggest thing I completed…”
  • Then, six questions about your past year: 1) “What are you most proud of?”, 2) “Who are the three people who influenced you the most?”, 3) “Who are the three people you influenced the most?”, 4) “What were you not able to accomplish?”, 5) “What is the best thing you have discovered about yourself,” and 6) “What are you most grateful for?”
  • Following this, you detail your best and most joyful moments from the last year.
  • The next step is to list your biggest accomplishments, explaining what they were, what you did to achieve these, and who helped you achieve these successes.
  • Then you speak to your three biggest challenges, explaining what they were, who or what helped you overcome them, and what you learned through overcoming the challenges.
  • After this, there is a section for forgiveness and one for letting go before we start the new year.
  • Finally, you choose three words for the past year, give yourself a book or movie title for the, and say any final words before you say goodbye to the last year.

You then focus on the next year.

  • The first part is to dream as big as you possibly can, explaining what you want the year to look like, why it will be great, and what could happen in an ideal world where everything went right.
  • Then you explain what your next year will be about and the goals you have for the categories of 1) personal life/family, 2) career/studies, 3) friends/community, 4) relaxation/hobbies/creativity, 5) physical health/fitness, 6) mental health/self-knowledge, 7) habits that define you, and 8) a better tomorrow.
  • After, there is a section called Magical Triplets for the Year Ahead having a series of prompts, including 1) I will make my surroundings cozy with these three things, 2) I will do these three things every morning, 3) I will pamper myself with these three things regularly, 4) I will visit these three places, 5) I will connect with my loved ones in these three ways, 6) I will reward my successes with these three present, 7) I will love these three things about myself, 8) I am ready to let go of these three things, 9) I want to achieve these three things the most, 10) These three people will be my pillars during rough times, 11) I will dare to discover these three things, and 12) I will have the power to say no to these three things
  • Next are the six sentences about your next year: 1) “This year I will not procrastinate anymore over…”, 2) “This year I will draw the most energy from…”, 3) “This year, I will be bravest when I am dealing with girls that I like…”, 4) “This year I will say yes when…”, 5) “This year I advise myself to…”, 6) “This year will be special for me because…”
  • The final two sections are selecting a word that symbolizes and defines the year ahead and detailing your secret wish for the next year.

Some Tips for Completing the Activity 

  1. I recommend completing this activity in whatever format you feel most comfortable with. I typed on my computer, but feel free to write it in pencil or draw for most of the sections if that works best for you. 
  2. Make sure you are in a relaxing setting and a calm and peaceful mindset, as it will help you complete the activity most effectively.
  3. Spend time thinking in each category, explaining how you want to feel, what exactly you want to accomplish, the people you want to surround yourself with, the theme you want your year to entail, and the what you want to cultivate in the coming year.
  4. I combined this activity with a vision board, goal-setting activity, and summing up your life activity, which I discussed in a previous blog. This helped me fully ground myself and understand what exactly I wanted to achieve in the new year.
  5. While I did not do this myself, I feel this activity would be a lot more meaningful if you completed it with others. Instead of doing the activity with others, I shared my insights with my friends and family and encouraged them to reflect with me.

Why you should complete the activity?

Completing this activity ensures you are aware of what you want to achieve in the new year, but reflect on all the good and the bad that happened in the previous year. I have seen countless times people going from year to year without collating their learnings, leading to them making the same mistakes each year. By bringing conscious awareness to the reflection and visions for the next year, you can purposefully align your daily actions and behaviors to these activities. When unsure what to do, you can review what you wrote in this activity and connect it to the year’s original goals and overall theme. While you may not do this activity, please spend time reflecting on your year and thinking about what it is you want to do for the next year. Think about what feeling you want to have at the end of this year, and deliberately make it happen.