20 Questions to Help You Reflect on 2020 and Set Realistic Goals for the New Year

2020 has been a challenging one, to say the least. While this year may have been a rollercoaster, the New Year of 2021 brings hope for a fresh start. Before moving forward, it’s imperative to take a moment to reflect and feel proud of everything that you’ve achieved amid the chaos of this past year. So, here are 20 questions that can help you reflect on 2020, set realistic goals for 2021 and cope with the continued uncertainty, stress, and anxiety of COVID-19.

  1. Which lessons did I learn in 2020 about myself and my relationships with others?
  2. What am I most proud of in the last year— or the last 10 years?
  3. What are my regrets or unresolved issues from 2020 or earlier?
  4. What did I enjoy doing the most in 2020?
  5. What’s the one skill that, if I had already, would have benefited me the most in 2020?
  6. How did I find creative ways to persevere through social distancing and other stressors this year?
  7. What do I want more of in my life?
  8. What do I want less of in my life?
  9. What can I stop procrastinating?
  10. What support systems do I have in place to help me reach my goals?
  11. Which roadblocks do I anticipate, and which strategies can I use to deal with them?
  12. What is one good habit that I have?
  13. What is one habit I want to change and how will I change it?
  14. What are my values and priorities?
  15. What is one behavior or activity I will say NO to in 2021?
  16. How will I define success in 2021?
  17. Whom do I want to become?
  18. What is one big, bold goal that makes me most excited?
  19. How can I prioritize my mental health in 2021?
  20. Are my 2021 goals realistic and attainable?

Consider thinking through or writing down your answers to these questions and using them as a starting point to help you set realistic goals for 2021. When planning for this New Year, it’s more important than ever to set specific, measurable and attainable goals to avoid setting yourself up for failure or disappointment. Resolving to do things like traveling, joining a local gym, or having a large family reunion, may not be possible for a good portion of 2021. Instead, consider resolving to plant a new garden in your backyard, create a meal plan schedule for your family, or pick up a new hobby like baking. You could also develop new hobbies or interests, like learning a new instrument, reading, or finding new music. Whatever you decide, remember that setting both big and small goals can help give you the structure and motivation to follow through and make real progress.

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