Stop And Smell The Roses – Taking Time For A Year End Review Of Your Life



But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15b ESV

All the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is coming to a close: the house is a mess, the decorations might still be up, and yet now is the perfect time to stop and smell the roses and make time for a year end review of your life. 

As a matter of fact, apart from the major holidays this specific week (between Christmas and the New Year) is my favorite time of the year.

Do you want to know why? 

Every year I take this week to sit and review what worked, what didn’t work, what needs to be improved and what I hope to do in the next year.

It’s not a complicated process, but it is a strategic process that my husband and I do every year. We started doing this about ten years ago and it’s turned into the most thought provoking and productive week for both of us.

Chances are you do something like this either mentally or on paper, so why not make a plan and see what you learn in the process. I’m going to share with you what I do, you take it, then tweak it to fit you and your family.

Here’s what you need to get ready;

  • paper/giant sticky notes/notepad
  • colored markers/pens/highlighters
  • calendar (last year and the coming year)
  • music (this is very important for me) – I love to listen to “Epic Soundtracks” on Pandora so that I don’t get distracted by the words in the songs.

I put those giant sticky notes up on the walls, doors, windows all around the room, light that candle, say a prayer for direction and guidance then get to work. On those giant sticky notes I write a specific priority item on the top of each of them. These are the seven to ten things that are a priority to me that I want to review and develop on a deeper level.

This list will be different for each of us, but what is nearest to your heart is what you should start with. I also have last years calendar and this next years calendar out for me to review while going through these priority items.

Here’s my list;

  1. God – Personal quiet time and relationship with my Savior
  2. Self – Exercise, Getting Healthy, Sleep, Reading, Development, etc
  3. Marriage – Date Night, Hubby’s Love Language, Annual Get Away
  4. Kids – Family Dinner, Celebration Meals, Family Vacation, One on One Time
  5. Friends/Extended Family – Family Meals, Calling the Grandparents, Couple Friends, Hubby Friends, Girlfriend Time, etc.
  6. Work (Ministry at Church) – Hours, Purpose, Mission, Vision (review in depth at work)
  7. Writing – Personal Blog, eBooks, Other Websites/Magazines, Book Project, Writing Blocks
  8. Speaking – Calendar, Messages, Development, Conferences, etc.

You might be surprised to see “self” up there right behind “God”, but here’s why I have it second, as a mom, for many years I put myself way down at the bottom of the list. I missed doctor appointments, me time and everything in between. What my family ended up with was a worn out mom that was resentful because everything else was more important.

Last year I went through the Creating Your Personal Life Plan, by Michael Hyatt and loved taking this concept of the year end review to the next level. It tied in perfectly with what we were doing, but also helped us to plan and prepare for the next year, five years, ten years and more…it is a terrific resource.

If you are looking to do a year end review of your life as well as a life plan, then I would strongly encourage you to take what we’ve started here in this post then head on over to Michael Hyatt’s website and download the free “Creating Your Personal Life Plan”.

Whatever you decide to do, know this, by stopping and smelling the roses you are acknowledging the graciousness of your life and also giving glory to God for it. It never hurts to stop, review where you’ve been, then plan out where you are going.

I don’t know about you, but I am ready to break out those giant sticky notes and get to work. This is absolutely one of my favorite weeks of the year, who knows, it just might be your new favorite week of the year too.

What about you?

  • What do you think about this concept of stopping and smelling the roses? (year end review)
  • Do you already do something like this? 
  • If so, what do you do?
  • If not, do you think you might give it a try this year?

Melissa Mashburn

Melissa is a woman who is passionately pursing God every day by taking her everyday, ordinary life and placing it as her offering to Him. With a heart to "keep it real" her life and ministry is all about "Real Women, Real Life, Real Faith" in action. She's an author, speaker, Pastor's Wife, Connections Director at her church, ministry leader and more importantly mom to two adult sons, Nick & Bailey. Melissa has been married to her best friend, her true North, Matt for 22 years, they live and enjoy ministry life in Sunny South Florida.

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