Christmas has come and gone and left me feeling a little bit blah. Anyone else? 🙋 But this is perhaps one of my favorite times of the year: time to host my yearly review where I reflect on the year I’ve had and prep to make the coming year my best one yet!
I love all things planning and goal setting! I love pondering on my year–what worked, what didn’t–and thinking about all the changes I want to make to improve my life. The whole thing just makes my heart happy!
I feel like a lot of people get really excited about goal setting and just jump right into it without thinking about where they’re coming from first. I know that’s what I used to do! And while it’s great and ambitious and exciting to think about goals, the best goals and changes come from first pondering on what got you to where you are right now. This better equips you to be able to decide what direction to take for your future.
If you’re ready to make this next year the best you’ve had, I challenge you to sit down and have a yearly review FIRST. Grab a journal and pen, then reflect on the past year by following these steps:
First of all, start with January and go through each month, noting the following:
- Important events or milestones
- Accomplishments (this one can be hard, but really dig deep! I’m sure there’s at least one thing you’re proud of doing every month. I always struggle with this one, but the longer I think, the more I realize I’ve done.)
- Obstacles or trials
- Lessons learned
This will give you an overview of your year and give you a sense of what happened. Remember to focus on both good and bad things. The good will help you feel joy and a sense of accomplishment, and the bad will help you remember all that you learned, how much you’ve grown, and how you might want to change in the coming year.
Next, evaluate yourself based on 10 life categories. At any point in time, you’re probably doing better at some and not so great at others, and it’s a good idea to check in at the end of every year to see where you stand.
Think about each category then, on a scale of 1-10, rate how you think you’re doing in each. The categories are:
- Health (physical, mental, emotional)
Reflect on how much time you spend maintaining or improving each area per week. Do you think that’s a good amount? Too much? Too little? Do you feel proud of where you’re at in each category? Does thinking about the category make you smile? Sad? Frustrated? Angry? Pay attention to what emotions the category brings up for you and jot them down, along with any notes or thoughts you may have.
Overall Yearly Review
Now look at your year as a whole and ponder these questions, jotting down any thoughts you have as you go:
- Did the year seem to have an overall theme for you?
- What one thing were you most proud of yourself for this year? (Another tough but really important one. You’ve done amazing things, I’m sure!)
- If you could go back and change one thing, would you? If so, what and why?
- What made you the most happy?
- What made you the most sad?
- Do you wish there were more of something in your year?
- Do you wish there were less of something in your year?
Planning the Year to Come
Finally, when you sit down to write your goals and plan your next year, look at what you wrote in this yearly review. Use this as a baseline for what you want in life. You might be surprised at what you learn. Maybe you want something you didn’t even know you wanted. Maybe you thought doing something made you happy, but it actually leaves you feeling down and unfulfilled. Perhaps you aren’t doing enough of something that brings you joy. Use this information to guide your upcoming year and help you to create your dream life.
Do you like to reflect on your past year before planning the year ahead?