What Can You Learn From 2019?

by Michael Keeler

We’d all like to believe that we’re the kind of person who learns from our past to improve our future. That is exactly what my article will help you do today.

As 2019 comes to a close, give yourself the gift of self-reflection to consider all the highs and lows of the last year. In just 15 focused minutes, you’ll walk down memory lane to identify lessons learned and explore strategies for making 2020 the best year ever. 

Without further ado, let’s freaking do this.

Here are 15 questions to ask yourself in 15 minutes. Bust out a piece of paper or a computer, set your timer for 15 minutes and get started!

Ready. Set. Go.


1. What experiences from 2019 brought you the most joy?


2. When and where did you feel like your most authentic self in 2019?


3. Who were the most important people in your life in the past year and why?


4. In what ways did you make a positive impact on those around you in 2019?


5. What are all the ways you improved your knowledge or skills in 2019?


6. How did you take care of and nurture yourself in 2019?


7. What was your relationship to creativity in 2019?


8. What experience from 2019 would you most like to repeat in 2020?


9. What experiences in 2019 were the most challenging?


10. If you were able to do-over any experiences from 2019, what would you do differently?


11. When did you act in ways you were not proud of in the last year?


12. What were your primary obstacles to accomplishing your goals in 2019?


13. How can you learn from your actions in 2019 to improve 2020?


14. What is the most important thing you can do in January 2020 to set yourself up for an amazing year?


15. What is one word to describe how you want to feel at the end of 2020? 


? Bonus question: What insights did you have from answering these 15 questions?

Let me know in the comments below!




  1. Wheels

    Insight: most of my obstacles were ME, not outside factors. It boiled down to lack of consistency. So at the end of 2020, I want to feel ecstatic about my consistent work throughout the year.

    • Michael Keeler

      What a great realization, Wheelz! Knowing that you are your own obstacle can be so empowering because it means YOU can do something about it. Three cheers for #consistency in 2020!

  2. Dawn

    I love this list! While I feel it’s always easier for me to find what I need to improve on, one of the most challenging and one of things that brought me the most joy in 2019 was going back to school. This year, at 48, I was a first time college student. The most challenging part of that, one course particularly, Statistics, top of the list. Wanting to learn it because it is so applicable in life and research (even if it was a requirement) and pushing through when everything else said to stop, brought me the most joy.

    • Michael Keeler

      Thank you so much for sharing, Dawn! Kudos to you for challenging yourself and pushing through the discomfort of trying something new. I hope you will carry that momentum with you into 2020. 🙂

  3. Michelle

    That so many things and instances that bring me so much joy and nourishment are not always where my time/energy goes… sometimes it’s totally aligned but sometimes, ugh!

    • Michael Keeler

      This is a great reminder for us all. Thanks, Michelle! Time is our one non-renewable resource, so it’s important for all of us to consciously spend time on the things and people that matter most. Cheers to doing more of that in 2020!

  4. Jon

    I probably should’ve put “stop procrastinating” somewhere in my goals, but this exercise was really useful for getting to the core issues I’d like to work on. I didn’t realize how interconnected all the small things that bother me were to a few of the larger–and certainly solvable–problems. Let’s start with insomnia! If I can beat that, I have a lot more time to work on everything else–especially those things which brought joy.

    • Michael Keeler

      YAY! I’m so glad this was useful for you, Jon. Your realization that many of your small issues are interconnected is awesome! Hope you find a way to get some sleep.


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