The rituals of Yom Kippur – fasting, wearing white, refraining from acts of pleasure, reciting prayers of confession, function as an annual dress rehearsal for death. In the field of psychology, “life review” is a tool used to promote reflection on one’s past in order to make peace with the present. Using your own life review as a reflection on mortality ahead of the annual dress rehearsal for death, this template is designed to help you prepare for entering the new year.

1. Complete one or more of the seven questions, as you wish.

2. Review and revise until you feel that it truly reflects your thoughts and feelings.

3. Consider when and where you want to use this review in your new year preparations.

4. Review your life review letter once a year and update it as needed.

5. This can be sensitive and emotional work. Please proceed with caution.

Annual Life Review Task 1: Acknowledging Relationships Think about the people who have figured prominently in your life in the last year. What are their names?

Annual Life Review Task 2: Remembering Key Moments Recall meaningful moments in your life that occurred in the last year. Can you describe them? 

Annual Life Review Task 3: Asking for Forgiveness Write the names of the people who you may have hurt in the last year. Use this opportunity to consider how and when you may ask for their forgiveness.

Annual Life Review Task 4: Forgiving Others or Moving Through the Hurt Write the names of the people who have hurt you in the last year. Consider how and when to forgive or move through the hurt.

Annual Life Review Task 5: Saying "Thank You" Write the names of the people in your life you wish to thank based on your life over the last year. Use this opportunity to identify what they did for you, why you are thankful, and how and when you want to express your gratitude.

Annual Life Review Task 6: Saying "I Love You" Write the names of the people in your life for whom you have felt love in the last year. How and when might you express this love to them ahead of the new year?

Annual Life Review Task 7: Saying "Goodbye" What or who do you want to say goodbye to based on your life in the last year? Consider what or who you would like to let go from the past year.

Booklet Section: Prayers of Remembrance