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Barnabas Center
Barnabas Center

Conduct a YEAR IN REVIEW – by Cathy Clevenger, MSW, LCSW

We get yearly reviews at work. If you’re a student, you receive a report card each semester to measure your progress. What about a review or report card of our lives?

We set New Year’s resolutions and write bucket lists, but do we evaluate our lives? I have learned that taking time off work every 6-8 months helps me to see things more objectively. So, before the year ends and you set those New Year’s resolutions perhaps a Year in Review would be appropriate. How would we go about such an assessment?

I think the first step is to identify what you value most. Is your family’s happiness and well-being on the top of your list? How do you feel about your career? Are you happy where you are, or do you need a change? In each area of your life, ask yourself how you feel about the ups and downs over this year – emotionally, spiritually, physically, socially and professionally.

In addition, I believe making a list of the people that have been an important part of your life this year. Identify the characteristics you value most about each person.

Make another list of all the things that have happened in your life for which you are grateful. Then, think about what you would have done differently if you could go back and change your actions.

Also, what have you learned from all your experiences this year? Sometimes the year could be a painful year but teach us a lot, as well as teach us who and what we value most. In the end, give the year and how it treated you a grade. Then give yourself a grade on how well you have lived that year. From this point on setting goals for the coming year should flow easily. 

 Cathy Clevenger, MSW, LCSW