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Yearly Reflection Template by Benedikt Glatzl


This is only a rough guideline and very comprehensive properly going through the entire process
might take you up to 10 hours, so I strongly recommend to adapt it to your own needs and time
prepare accordingly. Make a playlist with reflective music and music that was important to you in
this closing year (use the "important" music only in key moments, otherwise it might sweep you
away and you cannot focus on the process anymore). Take enough money with you to being able to
buy some drinks and maybe a meal. Keep your schedule for that day clean. Turn off your mobile and
your internet. Wear most comfortable clothes. Be relaxed and well slept. Treat yourself good food
that day.
Do not start or do anything that might linger on your mind that day. Try to close all matters at hand
(projects, meetings, calls, ...).
Look for a really nice, not too loud, not to busy place - best is a place you have never or hardly ever
been to, so you are not distracted by associations. It's important that the possibility to meet people
you know should be quite low and all other potential distractions eliminated as much as possible. A
little cafe in a side-street is very nice for example.
Take everything with you that contains facts, thoughts, goals or dates of the year (like journals,
planners, etc.) so you can go through those as supplementary material
There is no fixed format to this I personally prefer to reflect mostly by writing (in bullet points so I
can keep up with the speed of my thoughts and am not restricted too much by grammar and proper
syntax) but you can also take sheets of papers and scribble and paint your answers and thoughts
about the different points there or talk about them with a friend (Id recommend recording your
narration then though as its important to capture your reflections for future reference)
The framework and instructions are meant for reference. Do not stick to them, if you don't feel like it.
The easiest basic process would be to go through the year month by month, writing down what
happened or topic by topic (family, uni, career, friends, love, health, ...), how you felt about it and
then just setting some goals.
Go with the flow. Jumping around in the process is ok. Everything that comes up in your mind is the
right thing for example if in the middle of going through the events of the year you have an intense
emotional flashback, write down what you feel and why instead of forcing yourself to finish the list
of events. What comes up in your mind should be written down, even if it does not directly "fit" into
the topic you are just working on. It's an open process.
There is no perfect writing here. Things come up as they are should be written down like that
without much regard for grammar and punctuation
Try to write continuously. If you make a break, it's for thinking back, not for looking for the perfect
When it comes to goal-setting, try to set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant,
Timely) goals!
I wish you good luck with your reflection! Feel free to drop me an e-mail at and let
me know how it went! Looking forward to hearing from you!

All the best, Bene

Yearly Reflection Template by Benedikt Glatzl (version: 8th of December 2016)

Source: Commented [1]: Love that you added the source, just
in case people would copy/paste ;-)
Yearly Reflection Template by Benedikt Glatzl

I. Past

a) Events out of my memory

Just list everything that happened. No need to have them in any particular order or
length. This is a start to see what stuck most to your mind and compare it later with
what actually happened.

b) Events comprehensive
Go chronologically through your calendars, journals, todo-lists, Facebook-Postings and
whatever other means you have to track what actually happened.







Yearly Reflection Template by Benedikt Glatzl






c) General Reflection about the year

What are your thoughts about the year? How do you feel about it? Just let your thoughts
flow. You will probably come back to this section when answering later points.

d) Failures, (personal) projects/ideas that just died, possible reasons &

recommendations/conclusions for the future
Not pleasant, but important to acknowledge. If this is upsetting you too much, keep it
very concise or skip it for later when you feel ready.

e) Successes/Achievements, possible reasons & recommendations/conclusions for

the future
Yearly Reflection Template by Benedikt Glatzl

Similarly you should have a sober look at your successes give the role of chance and other
people a fair evaluation here.

f) What did I learn out of this year?

General conclusions and recommendations out of the year in its entirety.

g) Which principles did I (subconsciously) act on? What behavioural/emotional

patterns governed me?
What are the recurring themes throughout the year? Principles could e.g. be that you tried
to act honorably or that you only recognized achievement coming out of painful work.
Behavioral patterns are more on the subconscious sides e.g. avoiding conflicts,
subconsciously seeking out certain types of people, avoiding decisions, doing everything to
cheer sad people up etc. Its important to note that you should not write down things you
wanted to be or do, but things you actually were or did (deducted from what happened
throughout the year).

h) My people of the year

Think about which people played an important role in this year. It doesnt matter how close
those people actually were to you or how much time you spent with them. Maybe you had a
conversation with somebody that sparked a new thought which made you change your life,
or somebody helped you out in a dire situation or you just specially liked the company of a
person. This section is meant to help you understand who really mattered in your life and
why they actually do. There are also some people we spend a lot of time with without us
and them adding value to each other in any way. The personal message is meant to thank
these people and appreciate them for their contribution to your life.

Yearly Reflection Template by Benedikt Glatzl


Personal message (sent via mail later):



Personal message (sent via mail later):



Personal message (sent via mail later):



Personal message (sent via mail later):

i) My songs of the year

Some songs strongly express what our year was about or have strong emotional
associations with certain key moments in the year or were simply accompanying us
throughout the year.


Explanation/Situation/time period:


Explanation/Situation/time period:

Yearly Reflection Template by Benedikt Glatzl

Explanation/Situation/time period:


Explanation/Situation/time period:

j) Pictures of the year

You can add them here or just put them in the same folder.

k) Themes of the year

If possible, try to summarize the year in a few words. If youd attribute a theme to the year,
what would it be? (E.g. Consolidation, Love, Creativity, Freeing yourself, )

l) Evaluation of the yearly goals set for the closing year

In case you set goals at some point in/for the year, have a look at them and try to write down
what you think about them now in retrospect and analyze why or why not you reached

m) Me on 1st of January of the closing year vs. Now

How would you describe yourself as a person now? How one year ago? How do these two
images differ and why?

n) Time investments (how much time did I spend with which activity?)
Yearly Reflection Template by Benedikt Glatzl

If possible try to estimate what you invested your time in throughout the year on a bigger (X
days for studying, Y days for travelling, Z days for family, ) and smaller (watching TV x
hours per day on average, meeting friends y hours per day on average, ) scale

o) Resource investment (mainly: What did I spend my money for?)

What did you invest the resources you had into. You could look at your bank statements for
seeing how you used your money.

II. Present (Inventory)

a) Financial Situation
What? (Till) when do I get Plus/Have Minus/Debts
paid/have to pay

b) Curriculum Vitae (Update)

What new potential items could I add to my CV (skills, experiences, activities)

c) Networks
What are my current contacts and networks? How did they change over the past year?
Yearly Reflection Template by Benedikt Glatzl

d) Material Resources
What other resources do I have (e.g. property, technical equipment, special clothes, )

e) Body & Health

How do I feel physically? Was I sick during the year? Are there special developments or

f) Skills & Talents

What am I good at? What did I develop newly in the past year?

g) Options/Opportunities (e.g. Job offers, potential projects, )

h) What are my 3-4 biggest/most important challenges right now?

Can be from any field of life (professional, relationships, health, )

i) What is frustrating me currently?

j) Loose ends
Things that are still lingering in my mind and/or need to be finished - commitments,
emotional things, relationships, projects, etc.

Recommendation means what you would suggest in order to tie up or continue the loose

What Recommendation (till) when

Yearly Reflection Template by Benedikt Glatzl

k) Evaluation of my current way to organize myself (vs. the years before)

Look at how you do your time-management, how you deal e.g. with your studies, job
responsibilities etc. Are the tools you use effective? Or are you just used to them?

III. Future
a) General Goal Brainstorming (anything that comes to my mind that I would like to
do at any point in my life no matter how big or small)
Just write down anything that comes to your mind that you would like to do at any point in
your life no matter how big or small (dentist appointment, calling my parents, learn surfing,
found a business, )

a2) Optional: Create a clustering & mindmap of the goals to see how they fit together,
have synergies and where parts might be missing.

b) Filter/Add important goals

Things that you did not come up with above but might be important from a more rational
side (e.g. eating healthy, doing your tax statement, )

c) What kind of person do I want to be by the end of the coming year?

Describe the kind of person you want to be.

d) Setting the big goals for the coming year

The most important step in this part. Decide on the goals you want to focus on for the year.
Start with Goal, then Expected outcome, then current state, then the other columns.
This particular system prevents you to have a achieve or die attitude i.e. being demotivated
when you realize you wont achieve exactly what you set as a goal. The 0 state represents
a realistic goal dont aim too high, those things are reserved for +1 and +2. In case you
Yearly Reflection Template by Benedikt Glatzl

achieve 0-state early you already have a backup goal then with those1. Try to think
holistically areas could be health, family & social, career, financial,

Goal Current State -1 0 +1 +2

/ Somewhat The Somewhat The best I
Performance better than expected better than could possibly
the current outcome the expect
state expected
Describe in How are you Better than What you What would Completely
your own currently it currently would like be even overachieving
words what doing in is, not as to achieve better than
you want regards to good as you in the what you
the goal want it to coming year think is a
be good

e) Future Scenarios
Looking a bit further into the future, what could you become? There are probably more than
one main paths that you see for yourself. Describe them (with a time-horizon of 5-10

f) Guiding principles of the coming year

What principles and values do you want to follow in the new year?

g) Time Investment
How much time do I have, how much do I want/have to invest in what? You could draft a
sample time-schedule for a normal day if you want to organize yourself that strongly.

Special thanks to Wolfgang Jungmeier for this method
Yearly Reflection Template by Benedikt Glatzl

h) Setting Milestones
Looking at the goals you set what are steps you need to take to achieve them? You could
do a rough timeline saying which date you want to achieve what.

i) Develop/Adapt Self-Management System

Looking back at how you organize yourself currently (see a few questions above), how could
you improve that?

j) Necessary changes in behaviours, habits, skills, resources

k) What should be the main theme of the coming year?

IV. Wrap Up
l) Immediate next steps
Extract all the actionable items (calendar dates, ToDos, people to talk to, opportunities to
research, courses to book, ) and put them in your self-organisation system

m) Create a rough timeline

Try to roughly schedule when you want to start & complete certain projects and tasks.

n) Create reminders, visualizations & other helpful tools

Examples are creating a vision board, printing out your big goals, creating a mood calendar,
monthly planners, motivational posters,