Why I Do a Year-End Ritual (And Why You Should Too)

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure page for full details.

Does the end of the year feel significant to you?

It always does to me.

As each year comes to a close, I feel all too well the passing of time and the meaning of the new era that is upon us. I’ve always been sentimental like that. I’ve written in journals for almost 20 years, and I love storing and revisiting memories.

A few years ago, I bought a book called The Not So Big Life. This book was fantastic, not only because it is filled with information on mindful living and planning your time to focus on what you love, but also because it has a very special section called the Year End Ritual.


A book cover of a pink flower says The Not So Big Life.

At the close of each 365-day-period, it is prudent and useful to conduct your own year-end review, or ritual, which gives you the opportunity to reflect upon the past year. The basic idea of the ritual is to take a day for thoughtful journaling focused on the last 12 months. It is a time to consider all that you have experienced this year, examining how you’ve grown and changed, and looking at your blessings and your trials. It is healthy to reflect in such a way and can allow you the room to really appreciate what you’ve encountered in the preceding year. As a traveler, this lets you not only consider the places you’ve visited more profoundly, but to peer more closely at how those travels have affected and enhanced your life.

After looking back, it is time to consider the present. Honestly and candidly, you can discover your current state and see what you might like to change. As well, you may want to celebrate some victories and achievements you’ve earned.

Finally, you take some time to look ahead. Writing about what you hope for in the upcoming year lets you plant the seeds for future goals and outcomes.

The ritual can be done in any way you choose, but if you’d like to answer the specific questions put forth in the book, take a look at the Year End Ritual PDF. Otherwise, devise your own questions and lists, as long as you take time to look inward and deeply reflect on your personal experience. If writing is not your cup of tea, you might choose to record your answers aloud.

Now comes the best part. Once you’ve finished the ritual, turn of the recording, put down your pen, and close the book. Seal your responses in an envelope or lock them away in a drawer. You won’t be reading the year end review until next year, the end of 2018. After you’ve written next year’s review, it is then time to open up 2017’s and revel and wonder at how much you’ve changed. Most incredible of all, you’ll get to see how the tiny seeds of hope you planted last December have quite possibly come to fruition over the year.

Ready to jump in?

Let’s look back over the year together and prepare for an incredible future!

You might also want to read:

Pin this post to save for later!