As 2021 draws to its close most of us will find ourselves reflecting on the year that’s passing, and taking stock of our personal balance sheet to see how we did. Did we squander our most precious capital – our time, our health, our relationships – or did we build on it, by following through with our good intentions and doing just a little better in these pandemic times than we had in the “before times”?

            Making this kind of personal reckoning can be maddening because our intentions so often outstrip our actions. We all want to be more mindful and more intentional – I certainly do! – but life has other plans and we’re so often caught up in dealing with what’s coming at us in the moment that we lose the clarity that the long view brings. The year-end holidays can be difficult for some of us because they shine a bright light on how we’ve used our time on earth in the last 365 days, throwing our missed opportunities or resolutions into focus. And it’s easy to pile on the blame and shame for those failures while giving the good things you’ve done little attention.

            Don’t do it. Not this year. I’ve got a better idea.

            Brendan Buchard, the New York Times best-selling author of High Performance Habits and global thought leader, suggests asking yourself five challenging questions that can help you engage in mindful and constructive self-assessment, to finish strong, and to lead off the New Year armed with more than just good intentions. So, before the end of the year, take out a pad and pen, and ask yourself:


  1. What are the five things I have been grateful for in 2021, and what are three things I’ve missed appreciating this year?
  2. What are the five things I struggled with most in 2021, and one way in which I could have handled each of them better?
  3. What are the five things I need to let go of or forgive myself for in 2021?
  4. What are five things I achieved this year that I’m proud of?
  5. What are the five things I will remind myself of, to succeed in the next 12 months?


            This precious season during the month of December is a time of wonder, rich with marvels large and small. My hope is that you will find the opportunity to reflect on the year we have just finished, and take in and celebrate those moments of wonder that are all around us right now. Start with these small steps in the right direction and use them to make 2022 your strongest year ever!

 Love and Light,




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