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Start Strong

Updated: Jan 3

As we begin a new year, it's a perfect time to reflect on our past twelve months of experiences, memories, and lessons learned. This activity can help us focus on what's next and identify any roadblocks that may prevent us from progressing in the new year. It also makes space for appreciation of little and not-so-little events that were not top of mind. 

If the Year In Review template provided doesn’t capture your reflection questions, feel free to create your own.

When we started this activity years ago, my family completed the same form, which was more challenging for our younger children. Over time, I created multiple

forms to offer options instead of having everyone complete the same form. I usually print several versions and allow family members to choose the one that speaks to them. This way, they can have autonomy in the process, making it easier for those less enthusiastic about the idea. 

One suggestion is to grab your planner and review each month, noting the highlights.

Utilize the brain trust in the room and ask each other also. While you might struggle to remember a highlight, a child or sibling might. Likewise, you may have forgotten how much you struggled with a subject, instrument, or project where your entire family can easily recall those turbulent months. Once the forms are complete, share them. This allows you to learn a little more about each other and better understand how you can support each other in the new year.

Remember, comparison is the thief of joy. Listening to one person's highlights with envy isn’t the right approach. However, identifying a role model can help you make the necessary changes to enhance your life. If you focus on how your neighbor’s lawn is healthy and lush, unlike yours, you can’t appreciate what you have. However, if you follow their watering, weeding, and cutting schedule, you can improve the quality of your lawn. As you reflect on this past year, consider families you admire with many similarities. Ask them for a few tips on how they instilled that habit. By implementing some of their practices, you may experience similar results and make the most of the upcoming year. This can happen within your family, too. Have you noticed a child making better choices, exhibiting more discipline, or refining a skill? Commend them on the effort and ask them what changed. Consider making a similar change to see how it impacts your life. The beauty of community is that we can all learn from each other and grow together.

2024 year in review
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