• Erin

Birthday Reflections: What I do before my birthday each year

Updated: Sep 14, 2020

As my birthday approaches each year it is a time I like to reflect. Although we cannot stop the clock, or even control how our year will unfold; my main focus is on what I can control - bettering myself to be better than I was the year prior. Self-reflection is key if you want to create your best life. Just as you should review each day, week, month, and year; each year leading up to my birthday I like to set aside a block of time to review the “chapter” coming to an end, reflect on the year it has been, to then envision and set goals for my new chapter ahead.


This allows me to recognize my accomplishments and give myself kudos for what I did well, reflect on the lessons I learned, as well as the knowledge and skills I acquired, figure out what gives me joy and what I’m truly passionate about, acknowledge my mistakes so I can use them as a self-improvement tool and analyze how I could do better moving forward.


I picked some of my favorite thought-provoking questions I use as a guide to help me reflect on my past year. Pick a few, use them all, write them down, say them to yourself - whatever works best for you! I like to write them down, I feel it makes me think a little deeper plus I like to go back and review them - it’s fun to look back even a few months or years later, you may surprise yourself at how much you truly are growing and evolving!


  • What was one of my favorite accomplishments?

  • The most important goal that I achieved this year was:

  • What was one of my most challenging moments? Why?

  • What was one personal strength I used this year? How did it benefit my work or life?

  • What hurdle came up more than once? (time, money, attitude, location, knowledge, etc.)

  • What advice would I offer someone else on the basis of a lesson I learned this year?

  • If I were writing a memoir, what would I highlight in the chapter about this year?

  • What's one thing I was a part of this year that I'll remember for the rest of my life? Why?

  • This year, I learned the following about myself:

  • This year I broke out of my comfort zone by:

  • What I am most grateful for this year is:

  • Something new that I’m passionate about:

  • Three words that would sum up this year:

  • If I could travel back to the beginning of the year, here’s some advice I would give myself:


After I’ve reflected on the year I’ve had, I then like to spend some time envisioning the year ahead, what I want it to look like, who I want to be and what I hope to accomplish. I like to write these answers out and keep them in a safe place where I can refer to them often, to remind myself of the intentions I set and to keep me focused and on track. Very often, as time passes I do find that these will change and evolve - and that’s okay, that should happen. However, taking the time to slow down, reflect, envision and dig a little deeper helps me to create a focus for my year which l find leads to a greater level of motivation and determination, especially when times get hard.


  • What would you do, and how would you live if you just learned that you only have 6 months to live?

  • What do you want to get better at?

  • What are some things you want to focus more on?

  • What have you always wanted to do, but were afraid to try?

  • What is a goal you want to have reached by this time next year?

  • Who do you want to be on your next birthday?


I encourage you to try it! Whether you pick a few or use them all, using thought-provoking questions to reflect at the end of a month, calendar year, approaching your birthday or any time you want to reset and refuel, is always a great way to help map out what is important to you and keep you on track to becoming your best self.


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