As the saying goes, “The only time you should look back is to see how far you’ve come.” And the end of the year is the perfect time to do just that. If you’re a goal-setter like me, you might be reflecting on whether or not you’ve ticked off more than your Christmas shopping list. Having your goals written down makes it really easy to see your achievements over the past year. But there are a few other things you might consider when taking stock. The things that make your life richer. Here’s some questions I ask when summing up the year’s achievements: What HOPE did you give others this year? Helping others is in my DNA. It’s what makes me tick. And I firmly believe that it can add to everyone’s happiness. So I’m big on the concept of HOPE – Help One Person Every day. Who did you help this year? How did it add to your own sense of wellbeing? What are you most grateful for this year? Gratitude practice has been a big part of my everyday for a while now. It definitely helps me to draw the positives of my life into the spotlight. So take the time to think about the things you are truly grateful for, and focus on the uplifting aspects of your year. It can really add to your overall optimism about the future. What memories have you made this year? Looking back is all about the moments that are most memorable. Especially for parents, these years with children are ones you will cherish as your family grows into adulthood. What moments bought you joy? When did you experience wonder? Think about the times you shared with the ones you love. What did you learn this year? Being curious is essential to our evolution. We are always learning. So give yourself credit, and recognise the new skills and knowledge you’ve gained throughout the year. Did you master a practical skill? Or perhaps you became an expert on a particular issue or topic. Sometimes it’s just when we discover something about ourselves that marks an important milestone in our life. By reflecting on these accomplishments we crystallise them in our thoughts, and can determine how they can help us achieve our future goals. So, when you are thinking about how your year has gone, don’t just focus on the financial goals, or progress reports. Spare a thought for the deeper things that make you human. Ultimately they’re the most important. Donna Thistlethwaite is passionate about providing career help for mums. She is the professional careers coach behind CareerSmart Mums, a workshop that offers return-to-work mums the practical and motivational help they need to pursue a career that they love. For more information, and to join the CareerSmart Mums network, visit