I actually read some of the information below on another website (about the Day One journaling app for Apple devices, at http://dayoneapp.com/blog/), but I'm going to adapt it for my own purposes here. It's a list of ten questions to ask yourself as you look back and reflect on the past year, and look forward to a better year ahead.
1. What was your favorite single day or event of 2016? What's the first thing that pops into your head that puts a smile on your face?
2. What was the best thing you built or created in 2016? We're all builders or makers in some way. What did you create this year?
3. What was the most impactful decision you made for you and your family's future in 2016? What will have a lasting effect on your family's lives?
4. What was your best financial achievement of 2016? It could be a wise purchase, a lifestyle change (new job, retirement), paying off a loan, or reaching a savings goal.
5. Did you achieve any lifetime goals in 2016? Did you cross any items off your "bucket list"?
6. What was the hardest lesson you learned in 2016? Making mistakes is easy, admitting them is hard. Wisdom comes with learning from your mistakes.
7. Did you develop any new hobbies or passions in 2016? And, are there any that you would like to take up in the new year?
8. What was your most humbling experience of 2016? What did you learn from it?
9. What is the one thing you are most grateful for in 2016? Use this quiet moment to properly reflect on the people and gifts around you.
10. What are your personal goals for the coming year? They can be family related, religious, health, financial or career goals.
My favorite event of 2016 was the first time I managed to successfully climb Mount Helena (http://blog.ergoob.org/2016/06/mount-helena-conquered.html) at the beginning of June. Sure, I had a rush of good hormones when I climbed Buttercup Hill the year before, or when I reached to top of Mount Ascension for the first time last March (http://blog.ergoob.org/2016/03/no-gym-required-part-2-pct-d-71.html), but the elation and jubilation of reaching the top of Mount Helena was the best.
In terms of creation, my best thing was the accessorizing of my bike. With its bright lights, rear view mirror, repair tools, pump, luggage rack and bag/panniers, it is now a well equipped device for getting around town and for getting good exercise (http://blog.ergoob.org/2016/11/enjoying-my-cycling.html).
My most impactful decision was to leave my job and move to my "spiritual home" of Missoula. I was really getting to like Helena (after nearly 20 years) but, even after only five weeks, I'm already really happy that the opportunities FOR ME are much greater in the Garden City. Generally, the people are great and the city has so many cool things to do and see and places to go. There's greater diversity here, people are more open-minded, and their politics are more akin to my own.
As we approach the end of this year, I would encourage you to answer the questions above for yourself. Hopefully, your own journey was as good as mine, and that you too can look forward to a bright and happy 2017!