Asking yourself self reflection questions is a powerful tool for development. I like to ask myself end of month reflection questions to make sure that I am living consciously each and every month rather than just falling into unconscious routines.
Using this time to reflect upon the month, quarter and year that I’ve had keeps me in alignment with my goals and purpose. Plus it gives me the space to set new intentions for the upcoming month.
It’s not always easy to find the right self reflection questions to ask yourself, but I recently listen to an episode of On Purpose by Jay Shetty’s which outlined 9 powerful self reflection questions that I loved. I found them to be a great way to structure my thoughts and dig deeper.
He used them for the end of the year check in but you can use these reflection questions anytime.
I would highly recommend checking out his podcast “On Purpose” to get his take on these questions. I listen to his podcast on Audible Plus almost daily— you can get a free trial by following the link (yes, it’s an affiliate link) below.
Quick side-note: If you’re doing this exercise as end of month reflection questions, just replace year with month where appropriate, or whatever time period you are reflecting on.
Without further ado here are the self reflection questions to ask yourself:
What Made You Feel Most Happy?
Rather than starting with the typical success or achievement-based reflection, try to focus on what made you happy this year. In Jay’s podcast, he recommends scrolling back on your photo’s app to January 1st and see what stands out as the most happy moments.
Now that you know what made you happy, ask yourself how can you make more time for that in the upcoming year or month? We often take what makes us happy for granted if we don’t have awareness around it. Bring some intention to what brings you joy and how you can cultivate more of it in your life.
What made you unhappy this year?
To look at the other end of the spectrum, try to understand what made you unhappy this year. We often try to sweep these things under the rug and not focus on the unhappy moments throughout our year. By knowing what made us unhappy and why we can reduce these things from our lives.
Dig deep to understand how you end up in the situations that make you unhappy. Try not to focus on another person or external happening, rather really focus on your behavior or choice. For instance, I was unhappy when I would spend my energy and time thoughtlessly. I would like to be more intentional with my time and say no to things that don’t serve me.
What was the biggest lesson you learned this year?
What was the biggest thing you’ve learned in the last 12 months? Spend some time thinking about this, it doesn’t have to be the first thing that comes to mind. The first two questions should help you start to think about this, but it can be anything, or maybe something you’ve even learned before but really clicked this year.
Take whatever you learned into consideration when making your intentions for the next year. For example, if you learned that community is important to you, make sure your intentions are aligned with cultivating community in your life.
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What is something you wish you did more of this year?
Don’t judge yourself for not making time for it this year, but rather think that this is something that you recognize that you want to make it a priority in your life this year.
Now go past just what you want to do more of, but make a realistic plan to put this in action. Can you do it once a month or once a week? Be honest with yourself about how much time you can dedicate to it, and then make a commitment to yourself to make it happen.
What is something you wish you did less of this year?
Was there something that took a lot of your time or energy this year that you wish didn’t? Maybe you watched more TV than you would like or spent a lot of time scrolling social media. Calling attention to where you’re spending your energy can help you make adjustments for the next year.
Can you replace what you want to do less of with what you want to do more of?
What was your biggest success this year?
Now the focus is shifting to your achievements. What was the thing you did this year that felt like a huge success? When did you start working on this? Try to trace it back to its very foundations to understand the journey that you’ve been on to make whatever you did a success. When you truly understand the journey you’ll be motivated to start another one this year.
What was a moment you felt like you failed this year?
This is another one that might be a little rough to think about, but oftentimes hidden in a “failure” is an opportunity. Think about the moment that you feel like you failed and try to look for the light in it, was there a silver lining? Did you learn something that led you in a new direction?
What is something you want to learn next year?
This question is to move us to focus on growth setting vs. goal setting. Rather than thinking about what we want to achieve next year shift the focus to what you need to learn. For example, if you want to launch a podcast next year, what are the things you need to learn?
What is your favorite way to refuel?
We often don’t reflect on how we rest. Understanding how our body refuels is so powerful, we can make space for more of whatever it is. Maybe it’s a bubble bath with a good novel, or for another person, it could be working out. Whatever it is, try to tap into that and bring more of it into the new year.
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I hope you find these self reflection questions as powerful and useful as I did. If you know other self reflection questions to ask yourself that you love, leave them in the comments below!