How to 'take stock' of the year (and extract some important lessons)

The end of the calendar year provides an opportunity for people to look back and review the year's highs and lows.

Behavioural psychologist Dr Helgo Schomer says it is important to confront the good, bad, and ugly that the year presented.

We call it a psychological audit. We audit what we've done throughout the year. Basically, a balance sheet.

Dr Helgo Schomer, behavioural psychologist

Most importantly, 'taking stock' of the year that was, allows individual's to extract key lessons that can be used in the future.

You've got to translate what you've written down into initiative and effort.

Dr Helgo Schomer, behavioural psychologist

Dr Schomer advises that people remember both the pain and pleasures of this year - only if they are willing to learn from those moments.

Here are some pointers before setting goals for 2017:

  • look at both the strengths and weaknesses of the year
  • benchmark them against the best and worst years of your entire life
  • separate the live events that you had no control over
  • take lessons from the moments where you played an active role
  • list what gains you achieved and what losses you experienced
  • ask yourself: in light of this, what can we keep or discard in 2017?

Listeners also called in to share their personal experiences:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : How to 'take stock' of the year (and extract some important lessons)


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