A Framework For Reflecting On Your Year & Planning For The One Ahead

Framework For End Of Year Reflections | The Elgin Avenue Blog

In November I hosted a group of friends for a creative get-together. We spent a day dedicated to reflecting, sharing and thinking about the year ahead.

It felt SO good to carve out time to take stock. How often do we forget to do that?!

Inspired by our creative day, and ahead of the new year, I want to share the super simple framework we used to reflect.

You can follow this framework any time of year, but the new year offers a great ‘line in the sand’ feeling from which to move forwards.

I hope you’ll enjoy delving into this formula, and I’d love to get your thoughts on how you reflect and plan too.

A Framework For Reflecting On Your Year & Planning For The One Ahead

Framework For End Of Year Reflections | The Elgin Avenue Blog

Achievements, Challenges, Looking Ahead

I’m a BIG fan of a ‘beginning, middle, end’ framework.

I use it in so many different ways – from writing, to workshops, all the way through to end of year reflections.

It’s a super simple framework which (for me at least – ha!) always makes sense.

When it comes to reflecting on the year, I adapt this framework slightly.

The prompts I use are as follows:

1 – Achievements (Beginning)

What have I achieved this year? Big and small?

You can decide on a specific number of achievements you want to list, say five, or simply list as many as you can think of.

I like to start with achievements because so often we don’t give ourselves the credit we deserve for the things we’ve done well at.

And as you know, I’m alllll about celebrating your success.

2 – Challenges (Middle)

For sure you will have had challenges over the past twelve months. I know I have!

Often challenges are the things which you learn the most from.

And again, it can be big challenges, or small things you want to work on.

Challenges are one area of reflection I really like to give some thought to, since they’re always things I want to improve upon. Or avoid altogether – ha!

3 – Looking Ahead (End)

Ahhh this is the fun bit!

What do you want the next twelve months to look like for you?

For me I normally write these reflections around my birthday since it’s in January anyway.

I love to think about what I’d like the next year to hold, all of the things which can be dreamt up and worked on.

I just came across this very thorough Annual Review post by Chris Guillebeau thanks to the Happier Podcast.  If you want to get granular about defining your goals for 2019, and putting plans in place to realise them, then Chris’s guidelines may really help. There’s even a downloadable spreadsheet!

For me though I like to use a more simple structure to plan for the year ahead . . .

Health. Home. Hustle. – the 2019 edition

Framework For End Of Year Reflections | The Elgin Avenue Blog

Health. Home. Hustle. is the mantra I’ve adopted over the past few years to help me to prioritise my life.

Health first, Home second and Hustle last.

I’ve written at length about this mantra before. I believe that working on those first two pillars (Health and Home) underpins a productive and enjoyable working life. And who doesn’t want that?!

I aim to prioritise my own health – physically, mentally and spiritually – followed by my home environment, to support my career hustle.

So, how does this tie into goal-setting for 2019?

I like to use those three pillars as categories for my focuses.

Health: Exercise? Diet? Wellbeing?

Home: Habits? Decor? Updates? Focuses?

Hustle: Projects? Clients? Expansion?

I find these categories super helpful for defining specific goals I want to work on in every area of my life.

Do you find them helpful too?


I’m often reminded that the best ideas, are the ones which are easy to implement.

This formula for reflecting on your year is one which I’ve used many times before, and which I find to be super easy to follow.

It’s a spin on the ‘beginning, middle, end’ framework I’m such a fan of!

What’s Your Take?

Will you be giving this framework a go? I’d love to hear if this resonates with you, and if so, some of the things you’re looking forward to in 2019!

Love, Monica x

Photography by Charlotte Bryer-Ash

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