So here we are. A new year lies before us! What will 2023 hold for you and your loved ones? What are you looking forward to or maybe even dreading? What did you learn from this last year?

There is much in the media about uncertainties around global and national political situations, the economy and climate change. That is not the purpose of what I am seeking to cover here. Rather it is an attempt to focus on what is within my own control to manage.

The start of a new year gives a natural opportunity to appraise how the last year has gone and make preparations for the months that lie ahead.

Søren Kierkegaard has a helpful quote that says, “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forward.”

Those who do not learn from and honour the past are invariably doomed to repeat the same mistakes or find themselves getting stuck in their relationships or other areas of life. It is so easy to reach a lid to your potential. As someone has said, there is a world of difference between 30 years of experience and one year of experience repeated 30 times!

So with that in mind how was this last year for you? What are the lessons you learnt that you are going to internalise and apply to move forward in 2023?

I am grateful to Michael Hyatt for the following questions to appraise 2022 and look ahead to 2023. I will also share my answers with you to help you think through your thoughts about 2022.

I would strongly encourage you to also write down your own answers and not just keep them in your head. As we write, our thoughts begin to disentangle themselves and bring clarity in a way that is otherwise just not possible.

As I share the questions below I have added some of my own reflections to help you think through your own experiences. If you want more clarification from me feel free to reach out to me. My hope for you as I indulge myself in this way publicly is that you will be prompted to have insights that will put you in a stronger positions for whatever this new year has in store for you.

1. If the last year of your life were a movie what genre would it be?
Would it, for example, be an adventure, a comedy of errors, a romance or a suspense mystery?

For me it was a roller coaster of highs and lows along with the unexpected.The most significant was the loss of my mother on 7 March 2022 followed by my two aunts later in the year. Sad and painful as that was I also experienced God’s sustaining power and grace in fresh and new ways.

2. What were the two or three major themes that kept recurring?
To have space for the unplanned and unexpected. As someone who loves to ensure I am making the most of my time this year was a reminder of how important it is to have margin for that which is outside of our control – from significant bereavements to leaking roofs!
There was also the joy and fun of two unanticipated trips to the US for extended family weddings, holidays in England and France. With the previous restrictions of covid this was a great privilege to enjoy and celebrate.

I also found myself with a growing platform of opportunities to connect with themes around wisdom from my book through podcasts and speaking engagements.

3. What did you accomplish this year that you are most proud of?
I am so thankful for having extended times with my mother during the time of her illness earlier in the year. Also the way we as a family were able to pay tribute to her at her funeral.

I was able to present the life plan workshop in person on two occasions and also to some private clients. Details are at

Finding a way for my Dad to come and live with us as a family.

4. What do you feel you should have been acknowledged for, but weren’t?
Persevering through some of the uncertainties of my Mum’s funeral preparation.

How some positive connections and relationships led to significant positive progress in life and business.

My weight came to its lowest ever for many years! Fascinatingly back in 2011 I had set a target of reducing my weight by 10kg from 76kg to 66kg. For many years it seemed impossible and then on 11 February 2022 I reached 66.2kg! I’ve not checked my weight for a number of months, and know it will be significantly more than than that now, but am encouraged by what is possible.

5. What disappointments and regrets did you experience this last year?
Starting too many things and not following through as much as I would like. (This is a common pattern for me!)

Some relationship strains that were difficult to resolve. I have been challenged by the words of Joseph Greney, “The purpose of life is to develop the character to achieve intimacy with important people.”

6. What was missing from this last year as you look back?

A consistent income stream for the business.


7. What major life lessons did you learn from this last year?
The importance of making the most of the relationships around us.

With work what can appear as a lost opportunity often isn’t with more possibilities often just around the corner.

Others are often surprised to learn I struggle with a deep inner cynicism within me. I have been learning the power of responding with deep and overwhelming gratitude for God’s goodness and grace to me in Christ. This is summed up in a profound quote I return to often:
“Honour the past.
Celebrate the present.
Plan for the future.”

All we have is the present moment which others have described as “the sacred intoxication of the present moment.” As the saying goes, “Life is short. Do stuff that matters.”

Those are some of my reflections on this last year, 2022.
It’s been many years since I have done this exercise, but if you are interested you can see my reflections on 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.

I trust it will inspire and encourage you to reflect on your own life journey

How about you? What questions or issues resonate with you?

It would be great to have your thoughts and comments as we move forward into a new year.