12/31/2014 11:37 am ET Updated Mar 02, 2015

3 Simple Questions to Help You Let Go of the Year That Was

If you feel the desire to reflect on the year that was, here is a simple 10-minute way of celebrating and releasing 2014. Three simple questions for you to answer.

You can grab a pen and paper right now and play along as you read, or if you enjoy the ambience of rituals, find a quiet spot at the beach, take a picnic rug to the park or light some candles at home. The setting is up to you.

But remember: It's better done than perfect.

1. What can I thank the Universe for?

This is your chance to go on a rampage of appreciation and list everything that made your heart dance this year. It's a gratitude-fest and all of your best memories are invited.

Why does it matter?

Because no matter how many goals you kick, goods you acquire, riches you amass or lovers you meet, you will never feel true and sustainable happiness until you master the art of pausing to soak up and appreciate all of your blessings, gifts and successes.

Plus, by reflecting on your favorite moments and going, "Wow, these things were amazing, they made me feel alive, joyful and fulfilled," you are clarifying for yourself what you want more of -- and you are simultaneously sending a clear memo to the Universe about your desires.

You get more of what you focus on, so it pays to throw a spotlight on the good in your life.

2. What life lessons did I learn about myself and the world?

This is your chance to list any major "aha!" moments you had that expanded your mind and soul. Give yourself a pat on the back, a little nod of respect and a cheeky wink -- you totally grew and evolved this year. You rock.

Why does it matter?

Because growing and flourishing into your best, brightest self through a series of life experiences is your ultimate purpose in life -- to be you, to discover what makes your soul dance, and to go do that more.

Even if you're not in a very good place right now, you may be surprised to discover just how much you've grown in a year. And that is an empowering realization, and can open you up to expanding even further.

3. What held me back that I want to master?

This is your chance to reflect on any self-sabotaging patterns, negative vibrations, limiting beliefs or unhelpful habits that are keeping you bound in invisible chains when you were born to soar free.

Why does it matter?

Because the Universe will keep hitting you over the head with the same people, circumstances and challenges until you learn the lesson and grow out of it.

Tip: Only write down things that really did hold you back -- not things you feel you "should" master because society, your friends or your mother told you to.

It's also important to answer this final question with a light-touch and an energy of self-love and acceptance -- no beating yourself up. Even when you are striving to grow, you are perfect and complete along the journey. As Buddha once said, "We are all perfect as we are, and we could all use a little work."

Next steps

Once you've completed your year in review, you can keep your list to reflect on in six or 12 months time, or release it from your life -- whatever feels right to you.

Elyse is the founder of, your guidebook to happiness and creating a beautiful life, and the creator of the Beautiful Life Bootcamp 6-week eCourse. For free tips and inspiration, sign up now.