about youReflection helps you to find out of the choices you made are still the right choices for you.


Not really an exciting concept. At least, not to me. There are a lot of models you can use and yes they are all very beneficial, handy and well thought out. However, I don’t think they are very appealing to use.

Why reflection is a good idea?

To reflect now and then is a great idea. It helps you to consider the choices you made and to find out if these choices are still right for you. And now comes the fun part: to find out if your intentions are still valid, it is crucial to know where you want to end up. What is important to you? What would you like to do?

One way to find this out is to visualize. Make a drawing, but keep it simple. Use pictograms and symbols like the ones used on this website. Or leaf through magazines, tear pictures and articles out, stick and paste and create an image of what you want to achieve. It is like inventing a new recipe for the New Year.

Two ways to reflect

Once you know where you are heading, you can ask yourself how your actions of 2020 have contributed to this path. You start reflecting on last year, by using text or images.

Answer questions and use a letter

Another way to reflect is to answer (some of) the following questions. It could also be fun to start a conversation with others and discuss the questions together.

  1. How would you rate 2020 on a scale of 1 to 10? Why?
  2. What went well?
  3. What didn’t go so well?
  4. How do you summarize 2020 in one sentence?
  5. How did you feel?
  6. How did you spend your time?
  7. What did you achieve in 2020?
  8. What would you have liked to achieve?
  9. What is the biggest mistake you made?
  10. What is the most important lesson you learned?
  11. What are you most proud of?
  12. What was the best decision you made?
  13. What was your best day or best experience?
  14. What would you have preferred to do differently?
  15. What is the best compliment you received?
  16. What are you grateful for?
  17. What would you like to let go of?

What did you discover? What are your wishes for the new year? Write yourself a letter, put it in a stamped envelope addressed to yourself and ask somebody to post it in a couple of months.

Draw your reflection

To draw up all the things you reflect on is also a great way. Use a timeline and fill in all the crucial things of 2020. What stands out, and what draws your attention?

The next step is to consider where you would like to go. A simple way to do that is to divide a paper into four squares with yourself in the middle.

Reflect on the last year and fill in the quadrants.

In each quadrant, you write what you want to let go of, what your intentions are, what you want to have more of and what you want to have less of. Now fill in each part with words or symbols.

Of course, you can choose any other layout, you can pick what is important to you.

Did it give you a taste? Read on how toasting bread can help you to finish your PhD successfully. And images do say so much more than words.


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