Personal Reflection: Gratitude, Accomplishments, Takeaways


As the new year opens in front of us, it’s time to reflect on what we’ve accomplished and give thanks for all that’s come from last year. It’s also time to consider what we’ve learned and what we should carry forward into the new year as we seek to improve our lives. This guide will walk you through a self-assessment of your accomplishments, takeaways, and gratitude for the year.

Break Out the Pen and Paper

Self-reflection takes a lot of work. The best way to get through this process and gather real insight is to take thorough notes as you examine every aspect of your life. You can refer back to these notes throughout the year to stay on track. This is also a great time to bring together work you’ve completed during the past year. If you’ve kept a personal journal, or have projects you’ve finished, include them for closer examination as well.

Commit to Honesty

Personal reflections are only beneficial if they’re honest. Commit to being honest with yourself, about the good and the bad. Yes, you can admit you hit some speed bumps during the year, but try not to be overly hard on yourself. Being honest takes a certain amount of courage, but it’s always a worthwhile endeavor. Whether you’re performing a self-evaluation for your boss or your own benefit, honesty is the most critical factor.

Categorize Your Thoughts

As you go through your self-appraisal, start by creating categories you want to focus on. For instance, your accomplishments, challenges, and gratitude. Fill in each category with details of things you’ve done well, things you have struggled with, and things you’ve learned to be thankful for. You may add other categories as you see fit, but once you’re done, create a separate category for key takeaways. Look at the big picture and think about the biggest, most important lessons of the year that you’ll carry forward in your life.

Take Your Time

Perhaps the most important thing is to take your time going through your assessment. Work methodically through each category and the timeline of last year. Don’t rush or skip over the hard parts, and definitely don’t leave anything out, especially if it was a challenge.

These are the moments you learn from the most, so make sure to pay attention to them. Most people can’t complete a full self-appraisal in one sitting. It usually requires several days or weeks of contemplation, note-taking and a-ha moments to gain a thorough understanding of what your year really looked like.

With these 4 tips, you are on your way to a better understanding of yourself and your strengths. Make sure to take your time and gather all of the relevant materials to examine your year and learn from it. Stay organized as you work, and take time to look over your notes with a 30,000-foot view to understanding the entire picture.

Reflecting on your Business: Gratitude, Accomplishments, Takeaways


If you’re not in the habit of conducting a business evaluation at the end of every year, you should be! Sitting down to reflect on your business accomplishments and lessons learned is a great way to determine your path for the new year. It can be a crucial part of setting better goals and overcoming future challenges.

It’s also a way to organize and restructure your business if needed. When you recognize your victories, you can create more of them. When you acknowledge your challenges and failures, you can learn how to improve and change what has held your business from success in those areas.

Celebrate Your Big Wins

Doing an evaluation can be daunting, so the best thing to do is to start from the highest point. Pick 3 to 5 moments where your business really customer, outperformed your projections or otherwise shone like a star.

Don’t just think in terms of your whole business either. Make sure you give credit to specific teams who knocked the ball out of the park and praise them for carrying the company forward.

Assess Your Weaknesses

Once you’ve handed out praise for all the great work of the year, it’s time to get honest about areas where you may still be struggling. Which projects didn’t go as planned? Which teams were unable to hit their benchmarks?

It’s also a great chance to get down on the floor and meet with your staff to discuss their concerns. Were there any factors that hindered their progress through the year? Put this information in writing and brainstorm some solutions to be addressed in the new year.

Your team members can be an excellent agent for positive change if you take the time to listen to their thoughts and open the floor to creative solutions.

Set Fresh Goals

The best goals are those that push you just beyond your comfort zone but are totally achievable if you just go the extra mile. Now that you’ve assessed your strengths and weaknesses from the previous year settle on a goal for the new year that builds upon your successes.

Your new goal may require you to address some of the issues that previously popped up before you can achieve it. While you may choose one goal as a singular focus or theme for the new year, it’s also helpful to set milestones and smaller short-term goals that address things like budgets, staffing and other issues you need to overcome along the way.

An end of year assessment is a great way for businesses to slow down and determine whether they’re on the right path.

Instead of forging ahead into the new year blindly, take the time to meet with your team members and get a strong sense of what is working and not working.

Use this information as a tool to help guide you to make productive changes and improvements throughout your company.

Happy New Year from United Western Insurance Brokers. We’re happy to help you access your insurance needs for the upcoming year.