31 Self-Reflection Questions to Ask Yourself

18 Dec ‘23
3 min
Finding purpose
Lisanne van Marrewijk
There’s no better time for self-reflection than at the start of a new year. Reflection helps you be aware of what’s going on, both around you and in yourself. It allows you to make adjustments when needed and it’s a way to get to know yourself better. Imagine you’re holding up a mirror and taking an honest look at your thoughts, feelings, habits and patterns.


The following self-reflection questions will help you to gain insight into thoughts and patterns and will make you aware of learning opportunities for growth.




Self-reflection is an important exercise that helps you to learn from your mistakes and experiences. This will allow you to understand yourself and your motivations better. You’ll learn more about your values, what’s important to you and how your life currently stands. It also enables you to stay true to yourself and not get distracted by events around you.


“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.” – Mark Twain


What’s more, self-reflection is a good way to explore what’s going on in your mind. Research shows that we have around 50,000 thoughts a day. And 90 per cent of these thoughts are the same as the ones we had the day before.


Making time to investigate these automatic thought patterns gives you the opportunity to do things differently. To become conscious of the story you’re telling yourself and to examine negative beliefs.


31 questions


Psychologists use reflection in consultations to help you see what your patterns are and how you can transform them.


You can use the questions below to gain insight into your thoughts, patterns and learning opportunities. The answers will offer insight into the things in your life that you want to approach differently or change.


  1. How can I make my daily life easier and nicer for myself?
  2. What (which thoughts, beliefs and patterns) can I let go of?
  3. What do I want less of in my life? And where might more come from?
  4. What gave me energy over the past year? And what took my energy away?
  5. What do I want to learn?
  6. Am I spending my time the way I want to spend it?
  7. What is holding me back from living the life I want to live?
  8. In what areas am I underestimating myself?
  9. What were my greatest moments this year?
  10. What is missing in my life and how can I get that?
  11. What mistakes have I made? What have I learned from them?
  12. How will I approach things differently next year?
  13. What is important to me in life? Am I organising my life accordingly?
  14. What is the best advice I’ve received?
  15. What would I say to the version of myself from a year ago?
  16. What have I achieved this year?
  17. What obstacles did you face? What have you done to tackle them?
  18. What am I worried about?
  19. What’s most important to me in my life? What am I doing about that?
  20. What do I want to do differently?
  21. When was the last time I stepped out of my comfort zone?
  22. What advice would I give someone younger?
  23. What would I do if I knew I was going to die soon?
  24. How do I want other people to remember me when I’m dead?
  25. To what extent have I determined the course of my own life?
  26. What makes you smile or gives you energy? Write it all down.
  27. When I’m not feeling well or in pain, what’s the best way to look after myself?
  28. Have I achieved my goals? Why/why not?
  29. What do I want to take from this year into next year?
  30. How can you make next year a better or nicer year?
  31. What is the first step you want to take in the new year?


How do you work with these self-reflection questions?


It’s good to take the time to think about these questions and come up with answers. But don’t expect to find all the answers in one morning – nor by the 1st of January.


Our psychologists recommend writing an answer to one question each day for a month. It helps to do them together with your family, partner or friend, so that you can inspire and encourage each other. At the end of the month, you can go through the answers together.


Tip: Write down the five most important insights on a sheet of paper and hang it from your mirror, fridge or anywhere else you’ll see it hanging all the time. This way, you’ll have a quick reminder at the start of each day.


An annual moment of rest


In our busy society, we don’t often take the time to stop and ask ourselves if we’re still running in the right direction. Or if we feel like running at all (sometimes a jog is more than enough). Taking a moment to do this each year helps you to be conscious of the steps that you’re taking and the direction you’re heading in.


Thought-provoking questions can give you some good insights. But sometimes that’s not enough. A psychologist can help you by holding up a metaphorical mirror and taking you through some more in-depth questions. Schedule a no-obligation consultation and end your year in a conscious way.