Will end of year reflections make you better?

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

We are in the last month of what has been an unusual and difficult year for many. If you have not already, now would be a great time to reflect on the year that has been – the wins and losses – and cast your aspirations for the future. Let’s consider each of the three items.


The year has been characterized by loss of loved ones, health challenges, salary cuts and job losses, concern for and fear about health and the future, to name but a few. No one has been spared.

David Kessler, writing for Harvard Business Review in ‘Helping Your People Heal’, says that leaders should think about three groups of people in the workplace. You would expect to find similar categories among people not working.

The first group is the ‘worried well‘, who are healthy. Even though they have not experienced sickness around them, they may be grieving loss of normalcy, opportunities, work, and events. The second group are the ‘affected‘. They were sick themselves or know someone who was sick but have recovered or will recover. They have experienced trauma firsthand. The third group are the ‘bereaved‘ who have lost a loved one and are at various stages of the grieving process.

What is the value in revisiting painful losses, you might be wondering?

It is to help you establish where you are in dealing with the losses experienced, and if not handled conclusively, take steps to do so. You may for example establish that you will need to get professional help or take other steps that will get you onto the path of healing before moving forward. By so doing, you will avert or at least minimize the danger of having past losses keep popping up and bogging you down whenever you try to move forward.


I know – depending on what this year has been like for you, it may be difficult for you to even think about anything positive that has come out of the pandemic. As you take time to reflect though, you might make some wonderful discoveries. For example, at the very least, in the face of real danger to your very existence, you possibly got to establish what is really important in life. It is also possible that the crisis forced you to re-evaluate what is essential and eliminate from your life or business the things that are not important. This will give you greater focus going forward.

In any case, the fact that you are alive and reading this means that you still have breath in you. That alone is a big plus!

Aspirations beyond 2020

You have come this far, have built a certain amount of resilience, and have valuable lessons tucked under your belt. And, you have hope for tomorrow. You have the opportunity to start from wherever you are and move forward to create a better future. You can dare to dream again!

Do not let the failures of this year – or even success – blind you from moving forward. Re-cast your vision, and then make plans for the future.


Take time to recap on your losses and wins for 2020, then reflect on a future filled with possibilities. The exercise will help you get better.

The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious.

John Sculley, Former CEO of Pepsi and Apple

Photo by Mohammad Danish from Pexels

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