Reflecting on the Year’s End

It can be easy to get swept up in the new year festivities to the point that you might not want to think about what you could have done better. But taking time out to reflect on your past 12 months can lay the foundation for a good start to the upcoming year, especially if you’re planning to further progress at work.
The gradsingapore Team
Dawn Yip
Editorial Intern, gradsingapore
Reflecting on the Year’s End

Time really flies – the new year is swiftly approaching as the work year comes to an end. Amidst the last-minute projects and end-of-year reports, you might already be planning out how to make the most of your holidays. However, as tempting as it is to just forget about anything productive, this is also a great time for you to take a step back and look back on what you’ve done this year. That way, you’ll know what you did well, what you could work on and how you can go about planning for the next chapter of your life.

Rewind and reflect

To get the most out of your reflection, one good way is to write it down, whether on a word document on your phone or in a physical journal. That way, you’ll have a written summary of what you’ve done this year.

Recognise your achievements

First, list down all that you’ve accomplished this year, no matter how small or insignificant you think they might be. After such a long year, it can be easy to forget the things that you’ve done. They can also be both personal and professional ones as well – so whether it’s a presentation that impressed your supervisors or finally managing to finish that book you wanted to read, add them in! These things are definitely worth celebrating, and a great way to hype yourself up for what comes next.

Identify what you can improve on

At the same time, you should honestly reflect on the goals you weren’t able to achieve as well. Yes, those reminders can sting, but it’s essential to look back and be analytical about what you could improve on. For example, if you suffered a period of burnout due to taking on too much work, you might consider working on time management as well as speaking up when you need to – that way you’ll be able to avoid that situation again.

Afterwards, just let it go – crying over spilt milk won’t solve anything, after all. And remember, looking back on the year will be helpful in planning what you should aim for next year.


Take stock of where you are in your career

At the same time, this is also a good time for you to have a good think about how this year has been for you career-wise. Whether you’re thinking of brushing up on some industry-relevant skills or considering changing job positions or even companies, considering how your career path has gone thus far is a good way for you to stay on-track of what you want for yourself in the future.


Set up some new goals

With a summary of what went well and what didn’t on-hand, what comes next? Whether you have unfinished goals you’d like to finish, those that you want to drop or finding entirely new targets you’d like to aim for, be sure to reorganise them accordingly as you head into the new year.

Before the new year rings in, it might be in your best interest to start planning out your new goals now, and then start acting on them after the clock strikes midnight. You can even consider getting a head-start on it so that you’ll race into the new year with some momentum.


Give your thanks and keep connecting

Throughout the year, you’ve probably received help and support from the people around you. Whether it’s the colleague who accompanied you with some last-minute work, your supervisor looking out for your well-being or someone who simply made you happier, now’s a great time to express your gratitude to them. And if there’s someone who you want to meet up with after a while, the new year’s a good time to invite them out for a casual lunch to catch up.

Not only is this a good way to improve your relationships with them, but by strengthening your connections, both old and new, it’ll put you in a good position if you need to reach out to them for help later on.


The new year will be upon you soon, but a little preparation can go a long way in not only keeping you in focus, but also prepare yourself for the brand new year ahead. Consider it as a gift from the you now to the you in the future – you’ll definitely be grateful for it.