Self-Reflection at the End of 2020: Inviting Self-Compassion

Many people go through self-compassion questions or exercises at the end of a calendar year. And, even if it’s not that formal, most of us at least spend some time considering what has happened January through December in our work, personal lives, and the world at large.

Many times, these types of evaluations ask questions like, “What goals did I accomplish this year?” “What obstacles got in the way and how can I fix that next year?” or “What am I ready to do better next year?” While all these questions are valuable, in a year like 2020, we wanted to take the opportunity to encourage you to make sure you are also approaching this year’s reflection with self-compassion.

In 2020, none of us had the full complement of physical, mental, emotional, or social capacity that we may have had in previous years. It is unfair and unhelpful to evaluate this year in the same way we would evaluate a more typical one. As we think about all that we went through, what we did or did not accomplish, and how we should evaluate this experience, it may be helpful to ask reflection questions in a different way. Here are some questions that may be helpful to add or replace your usual practice:

Self-Compassionate Reflection Questions for 2020

  1. In what ways did I make the best of my time in quarantine?
  2. How did I love others well despite the restrictions of this year?
  3. Grieving requires great bravery. How did I allow myself to grieve for myself and/or others?
  4. What adjustments did I make during this year that helped me cope?
  5. Place yourself in 2030. What would you tell someone else about the good parts of 2020?
  6. In what areas can you thank yourself for simply surviving, rather than needing to thrive or improve?
  7. Think through the months of 2020. Identify a moment you are grateful for in each one.
  8. Reflect on a moment in 2020 that demonstrated the generosity of humanity.
  9. Name what you are most proud of from this past year.
  10. Identify the lesson from 2020 that will guide you most clearly in 2020.

We hope these questions help you and others take a position of compassion toward everything it took to make it through this very difficult year. And, that it may give you strength and hope heading in 2021.

January 4, 2021. By Anne Rulo, Author, Speaker, Therapist. FB/IG/Twitter @annemrulo

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