Completing The Year

 In Honorable Closure (HC), Tools & Resources

Wisdom cultures have long acknowledged the value of bringing Honorable Closure to endings, believing it paves the way for greater blessings. Why? Reflecting upon and articulating our experience brings forward the learning’s so we can integrate them. Once we ‘get’ the lesson it is easier to let go of whatever no longer serves us (expectations, beliefs, grudges, etc.) freeing us to be present and awake to life right now.

Every year at this time I often engage with my clients in a reflective process to bring Honorable Closure to the year. We use a series of questions, some of which are listed below. It always generates a rich and useful conversation because the questions employ gratitude and honesty to acknowledge all that is working without discounting our hardships. When they take time to slow down and reflect, most clients are astounded at how far they have moved the ball forward in matters of work, health, family, finance, etc. It turns out none of us are standing still, even though the complexities of life cause many things to take longer than we would prefer. Why not give yourself the gift of acknowledging how far you have come and how much got done?

To that end, I invite you to contemplate both the challenges and blessings that came your way over the past twelve months. Set aside 30-60 minutes, review the questions below, and write down your answers. The exercise is amplified if you do this with someone you trust and share your responses. Note: it can help to review your calendar before doing this, because it is easy to forget or discount all that has transpired.

  • What was your biggest triumph this year? Go ahead, brag and be proud.
  • What was your biggest challenge and what lesson did you learn from it?
  • What unexpected gifts (people, opportunities) showed up?
  • Who and what are you grateful for?
  • What risks did you take?
  • Is there anything you need to say or do to be complete for the year?

Without rushing, take in your answers, heed the lessons, take what is useful and act on anything incomplete, then bow to the year.

Once you have brought Honorable Closure to the passing year, it’s time to look ahead

  • What are you most grateful for right now?
  • What would you be most happy about completing (personally & professionally)?
  • What risks are you willing to take?
  • What are you looking forward to learning?
  • What is one undeveloped talent you are willing to explore in the new year?
  • Who or what, other than yourself, are you most committed to loving or serving?
  • What one word or phrase would you like to have as your year-long theme?

John O’Donahue speaks about living “like a river flows, carried by the surprise of it’s own unfolding.”  May you expect success and be pleasantly surprised by how your aspirations and plans unfold in the coming year.

I welcome your comments and or questions about this post here on Facebook.

Showing 10 comments
  • Susan Isa Efros

    As always, I was moved and inspired by your kind, wise words, Linda. Thanks for the useful and pertinent questions for reflecting deeply on 2013 and 2014. I found them extremely helpful in focusing and pinpointing what is most important to me. Happy New Year to you! Blessings.

    • Linda Curtis

      Thanks, Isa. From your lips to Gods ears! Cheers! Linda

  • raz Ingrasci

    Thank you, Linda. I am going to do this over the weekend!


  • Katherine

    Love these questions; now I must actually answer them. Going to enlist my partner to join me. My 2014 theme…hmmm. I’ll keep you posted.

  • Jessica

    This is so helpful. I’m going to focus on the questions today. Thank you Linda!

    • Linda Curtis

      Hi Jessie! Enjoy the inquiry!

  • Pnina Tobin

    A few friends and I did something like this on New Years’ eve. It was very meaningful. Next year, I’d like to use some of your questions (especially about taking risks and what you are most proud of……

    • Linda Curtis

      Thanks, Pnina. Enjoy your 2014.

  • Karen

    Linda, Thank you so much for this sharing and guidance. I really appreciate the thoughtful and useful questions. New Year’s was a whirlwind, and now that things have quieted down, I am ready to dig in with refection and planning ahead. Your writing is the perfect encouragement to look back and look ahead. Wishing you a sweet and healthy New Year. Many thanks, Karen

    • Linda Curtis

      Hello Karen! 2014. It’s here. You made it. I made it. Yahoo! Enjoy!