I did Year Compass in 2020 with my sister and my mum. It’s a free booklet that lets you process last year get ready for the new one. 

I love this because it gives me the time I need to figure out where I stand at the end of each year. It helps me find the good, acknowledge the bad and then continue to move forward. 

Doing Year Compass has become a bit of a ritual for my family and me. It’s become a time that I always cherish, so I want to share the concept with you.

You can, of course, work through the booklet alone. I choose not to share some parts of it with my family if they are too personal. However, I always love to hear about my family’s best parts of the year and help them process the parts that weren’t so good. 

Year Compass is a great tool to establish yourself and get a clear picture for the year ahead. 

The Past Year

The first thing you are asked to do is go back through your calendar and list important events, family gatherings and get-togethers. I love this part because often, I feel like I didn’t do anything with my year. This section lets me acknowledge how social my life has been. It also allows me to remember funny or pleasant things that happened during each event. 

After that, Year Compass asks you to think about different aspects of your year in terms of your personal life, career, hobbies, physical health, mental health, habits and finally, what you did that made the world a better place. You can find these answers from the first exercise and divide them up. 

Next, you write six sentences about the year. These are reflective sentences that help you think about your accomplishments. Don’t worry; the prompts are given, but I’m not going to share them here. I have to give you some reason to go to the original website. 

After the six sentences come six questions about last year, these are again reflective and help you see the impact you’ve had on the world. 

Next, it’s time to think of the best moments of the year. For me, these usually include my anniversary, family parties, and any big accomplishments. 

After this, you get to write down your three biggest accomplishments, the steps you took to achieve them and who helped you with your successes. I love this step because it shows me time and time again who was there with me. Knowing who stood by me last year helps me prioritise relationships in the future. After your three biggest accomplishments, you’re asked to look at your three biggest challenges. Year Compass again asks you questions to help you reflect on them. 

There is a section for forgiveness and letting go, which I find helpful. I often pick up small resentments and issues with people that build up over the year. This is the place to look at what you’ve picked up and ask yourself if it’s worth carrying. Let go of the people or problems that you don’t want in your life next year. It’s time for a clean slate.

Next, you pick three words to describe 2021, pick the book title you would give the year and say goodbye—next stop 2022. 

The Year Ahead

I take a couple of days break before approaching the next year. I often need to work through what the last section pulled up, but you might find yourself ready to move on right away.

The Year Ahead begins with asking you to dream big about what you want to accomplish next year. The sky is the limit, and you cannot fail. What would you like to get done? 

You’re then going to figure out what your next year will be about. It asks you to look at your personal life, career, hobbies, physical health, mental health, habits and lastly, what you will do to make the world a better place. This is nice because it gives you actionable steps to help make a difference in the upcoming year. It helps show you what your priorities are. 

Next comes a whole bunch of triplets for the year ahead. You are asked to list three things for various prompts. Again the prompts are provided, so I’m not going to list them here. This exercise lets you know what’s possible. 

Six sentences about next year come next. Again you get given sentences to fill out based on who you want to be next year. Don’t be afraid to answer these questions as an idealised version of yourself. Remember that this activity is to help you to become who you want to be, so answering these prompts based on that person is important to figuring your priorities out. 

Pick a word for the year ahead. It could be a symbol or a definition, but this is a word that you can look at that will encourage you not to give up on your dreams. I generally pick a word related to the biggest thing I want to change about the upcoming year. I haven’t done the Year Compass yet, I’ll do that during Christmas time with my family, but I have a feeling my word will be ‘Health’. I want to work on my body and find ways to manage my chronic pain. 

Lastly, you’re going to write down your secret wish for the next year. 

And you’re done. 

What this does

Working through the Year Compass helps me set up my goals for the next year. I’ve always been very good at setting up occupational goals, but I’m not always great at figuring out how I want to grow as a person.

Writing is and always will be a priority in my life, but as I move into 2022, I want to improve as a person. It’s important for me that I expect more of myself. I want to continue to grow as a person so that I can be the best version of myself for myself and my family. If I’m taking care of my own mental health taking care of my writing business will be much easier. 

Reflecting on the year helps me process the passage of time, which has been especially helpful since the pandemic. Life is so special, and I want to make sure that I value mine.

Happy New Year, everyone. Here’s to the best versions of ourselves.