YearCompass – Reflecting on your year and the year ahead

Over three years ago now, I stumbled upon a recommendation for YearCompass in a comment. (It might have been somewhere on Reddit.) It’s a booklet that gives you a way to reflect on the current year ending and looking forward to the next year. I always find it useful to close out a year, especially mentally.

From their website:

What Is YearCompass?
YearCompass is a booklet that helps close your year and plan the next one. In the routine of everyday life it’s easy to lose sight of your true goals and aspirations. And even though we all have dreams, only a few of us plan for them. Effectively, at least. YearCompass works simply. Using questions and exercises rooted in psychology it takes you through the past year, then helps you turn your dreams into achievable goals.

YearCompass cover 2020-2021


If you want to try it, it requires some serious focus time to reflect and answer its questions. The booklet recommends setting aside 4 hours total to complete it. You will also need your calendar from the current year since you’ll be referencing it a lot through the process.

First, you’re going to log down any important events during the year you’re ending. Then the booklet has you break down these into categories. Then you’re given various things to think about, or questions to answer to help you reflect on everything. The best part to me is the section where you forgive yourself for anything that happened that year, as well as a section for letting go. This is the part that I find helps me the most to mentally close out the year.

Then it moves into the new year. You have a space to write or draw whatever comes to mind for any possibilities for the coming year. Then the categories return from the previous year’s reflection prompts to help you decide what you would like to focus on in these areas. Then comes more of the prompts and questions to address for focusing your thoughts on the new year.

The PDF booklet is available in various languages and A4, A5, and US letter sizes. There are also options that allow you to fill out the booklet digitally by allowing typing in the block areas. Though I’m sure you could save the PDF to your tablet and write in it that way if you wish.

Edit/Update: After posting this, YearCompass updated their website. For English-US the options are Letter and Half-letter sizes. English-GB will give you A4 and A5. They also added an optional supplement focusing on this year’s pandemic.

If you find that the booklet works for you, don’t forget to scroll down to the bottom of their website to have them email you a reminder when next year’s booklet is out. You can also set a reminder or appointment in December to check out their website to fill out a new booklet and reflect again.

I’ll be going through the process of reflecting again this year as 2020 is definitely a year that needs to be mentally closed for me. I hope someone somewhere out there will also find this useful for them. Good luck to you and please stay safe.


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