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Take a life inventory | Review & Celebrate the past 12 months


As you prepare for the Christmas festivities to start and then ready yourself for the New Year, it’s important to step back and take a look at the year just finished—take a life inventory, consider everything that’s happened, and see how you did. Only then will you be ready to make the most of that January dream to create the New You.

It is common place for a business to carry out an annual review to assess how things have gone and how to move things forward. By carrying out a thorough analysis of their current position they will be able to get clarity on what needs to be done to develop the business.

Yet even though your life and future is equally as important as any business, rarely do you bother to examine it closely and determine what’s good and what’s bad, and essentially decide what needs to be done to move things forward positively. Perhaps you have never spent the time to take a life inventory.

Why not make this the year you do things differently. In preparation for the New Year, how about taking some time to sit alone quietly and reflect on the year you’ve just lived and take a life inventory.

This process will take you around 2 hours, so a bit longer than the average throw away resolution made on New Year’s Eve.  The importance of it is huge. Before you can look forward, you need to look back. By reviewing and evaluating the Year just gone will give you a really good insight into what you need to be doing at the beginning of the approaching New Year.

“Evaluated reflection turns experience into insight.” JOHN MAXWELL

But take this as a warning.  Most of us have a tendency to view the take a life inventory process as an opportunity to beat ourselves up and find fault with everything we have NOT accomplished.

Be different. Look at this review as a time to rejoice. After all you’re taking charge of your future by doing this.

Give yourself some credit for what you have accomplished! Make a list, and don’t keep telling yourself everything is too small to be significant. Start by reviewing your successes and accomplishments.

An important part of any focusing regimen is to set aside time at the end of the day – just before going to sleep – to acknowledge your successes, review your goals, focus on your successful future, and make specific plans for what you want to accomplish the next day. JACK CANFIELD


So starting from last January all the way up to today make a list of all of the things that you have achieved, all the goals that you were successful with, any new skills learnt.  It doesn’t matter how big the goal was or what area of life it was in write down every single thing you have achieved no matter how small no matter how big.  Month by month list and categorise every single thing you have achieved in the last 12 months.


  • What have you achieved?
  • What are you most proud of?
  • What have you learnt that you didn’t know 12 months ago?
  • What new skills have you acquired that you didn’t have this time last year?
  • What challenges have you overcome?
  • What setbacks have you overcome?
  • What setbacks have you overcome?
  • What situations will you look back on with a smile, even if at the time it was uncomfortable?
  • What have you learnt from these experiences?


So the next part of the process is to look at the last 12 months and this time look at the things that didn’t work out, those bad moments and unhappy events.

  • What did not go well this year?
  • What event or experience represented the “worst” of the year, and why exactly?
  • What important goals did you fail to achieve, and why?
  • What regrets do you have?
  • What opportunity did you pass up?
  • What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
  • What was the single biggest time waster in your life this past year?
  • Where did you fail?
  • What were your worst personality characteristics e.g. lack confidence, low self-esteem, and feeling down?

List all the other on-going things that bother you and cause you negative energy – however minor.

Now you’ve recalled everything that’s happened you can now learn from it.


Reading through what you’ve written about the year just gone, ask yourself the following questions.

  • What do you need to start doing?
  • What do you need to stop doing?
  • What do you need to continue doing?
  • What do you need to do more of?
  • What do you need to do less of?
  • What strengths can you draw on?


Finally you need to determine how things have been in the eight key areas of your life. You’ll rate how good each of these areas is for you right now, and this will help you to focus on what it is you want to change, enhance, and improve in your life.

  • Health & Fitness
  • Professional Life
  • Social Life
  • Relationships
  • Passion, Purpose, Contribution
  • Possessions
  • Mind & Personal Growth

You will score yourself, on a scale of 1 to 10. A 1 meaning that things are as bad as can be needing a lot of improvement where as a 10 shows things are great and no improvement is necessary.

Ask yourself these questions for each area to help you score yourself.

  • How happy are you with this area this year?
  • Are you achieving your best?
  • Do you do enough to maintain this area?
  • Do you take responsibility for this area?
  • Are you struggling with anything in particular?
  • What issues do you need to work on?
  • Have you made this area enough of a priority?

So find yourself a quiet space and set aside a couple of hours to take a life inventory and do a review of the past 12 months.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” OPRAH WINFREY

If you would like help going through this process or learn what the next part of the process is then join my How To Change Your Life In 5 Days Course to make 2017 your best year yet with an amazingly simple yet powerful goal achieving system! This is totally FREE to my followers. Check it out here.





About the author: Larry Lewis
I am a life coach, blogger, speaker and author who loves helping others discover the unlimited possibilities and opportunities awaiting them, enabling them to overcome their difficulties and get their life back on track.

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