As the year draws to a close, your feeds are likely filled with “Best ____ of 2021” headlines. You’ve read about the best books, best movies, best apps, best new products, and best “best of the year” lists.
Why are these lists so popular? Reflection feels good. It’s the palate cleanse that lets us face what’s to come with new purpose and new hope. We think about what worked and what didn’t; what was fun and what wasn’t; what we learned and what we should forget. And then we resolve to do better next year. (Or at least to go to the gym more often.)
Use Your “Best of the Year” to Plan Ahead
In January, it’s not only a new year but also a new semester — a great time to hit reset and make some academic improvements. The best place to start is with a little reflection — what were your best of the year?
- Best academic accomplishment
- Best thing you wrote this year
- Best group project
- Best creative project
- Best class you took
- Best experience outside of school
- Best book you read
Here are some questions to jump start your self-reflection engine as you start to think about your goals for next year:
- What’s your biggest accomplishment at school this year? What did you do to get there?
- What’s your biggest strength? How can you use this strength to do even better?
- What’s your biggest weakness? What steps can you take to improve upon it?
- Did you procrastinate a lot this year? What strategies can you come up with to fix your procrastination problem?
- What’s your book bag look like? How about your locker? If the answer is “I think something might be living in there,” what can you do to get more organized?
- If you could pick one thing to change that would make you do better in school, what would it be? Is there something you do to start making that change in the new year?
This isn’t a homework assignment. You don’t need to get out a sheet of paper and write down your answers (although some studies have found that self-reflective journaling improves self-awareness and future performance, hint, hint, nudge, nudge).
Just think about your answers. Truly reflect on the year, the things you did well, and the things you could do better on.