By Jessica Long (’05), Assistant Director, Career and Professional Development, at Wake Forest University

Man looking out over water and rocks at sunset

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

Happy 2018! We’re already a month into the new year, and it’s a great time to take a look at where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’d like to go. Chances are there are some things you look back on with pleasure and there are others that make you go “hmmm, that didn’t go quite like I hoped it would.” Let’s talk more about that!


It’s rare that most of us intentionally carve out time daily, weekly or monthly to seriously reflect. Our very own Allison McWilliams states in Five for Your First Five the importance of reflection because it helps us learn about ourselves. It helps us take inventory of where we’ve been and what we’ve done up to this point. When you look back on the past year, take time to consider:

  • What stands out to you?
  • Are there particularly noteworthy moments or accomplishments?
  • What were your highs and lows?

Take time to sit and think about what the last year looked like for you. Write down things that come to mind.


Now that you’ve taken some time to reflect on where you’ve been, let’s revisit the goals you set for yourself in 2017. Are they still relevant? Are they still in line with where you are and where you are hoping to go? Are some of them still in progress? Hey, that’s okay! Carry them over to this year and know that you’re a work in progress. Some goals take longer to achieve than others. Have you achieved some of them already? If so, congratulations! Celebrate your accomplishments…that’s awesome!


Take stock of where you are and where you want to be a year from now (or even 6 months from now). Let’s renew those goals! What do you want to accomplish in the next 6 months? In the next year? Where do you want to be? Do you want to be somewhere different from where you are now? Do you want to be in the same place but doing something different? Renew your goals, take a deep breath, and get started!