Lately I have been paying special attention to completing monthly reviews and will be setting aside time to do a yearly review. Doing this is so valuable because looking back on goals that were accomplished and any that weren’t is important to the growth process. This is also the time to take a moment to celebrate how far you’ve come.
Let’s face it, there is always going to be something that we didn’t get to, but if we started down a path of some type of growth and can see any changes then we are doing things right.
Being able to reflect on your year and everything that happened will help you see your growth journey. It will also give you clarity on where to focus your energy in the next 12 months.
After reading this post you are going to understand how doing a review can be helpful and how to carry your amazing progress into the future.
Annual Review Time: What Did You Accomplish?
Over the past 12 months, reflect on what you’ve accomplished and put it all down in a list. This list can include achievements or projects.
This part was hard for me in the beginning. Not sure about you, but when I sit down to do an activity like this, suddenly my mind is blank and it’s like I’ve never done anything! Remember, you are often your worst own critic and sometimes that can cloud your perception.
I changed my mindset in this area by being ready to celebrate anything and everything. Sometimes we must ready ourselves for feeling success. Once I did this, I was able to start coming up with things almost immediately. Some of the things I came up with were simply finishing a project or taking a training.
Here is your chance, do a brain dump on any accomplishments you see fit. This can be as big or as small as you want. You are the one that determines what is an accomplishment in your life.
Use this Annual Review to Identify Your Challenges
The next area of this reflection exercise is being honest about the challenges were that you faced. Identifying the barriers that stood in your way helps you know where to focus some extra energy in your future goal setting.
These challenges could be roadblocks you ran into that were external like a class or training not being offered in time or not being able to financially afford a class or training. Internal roadblocks can also occur and can include procrastination or accountability.
Something I had to face while I was doing this reflection was being honest with myself. I accepted that I had been stretched thin at times and didn’t have the brainpower to complete a project I set out to do. I wrote down the many ways that I was stretched thin.
Another barrier I faced was having a goal that I couldn’t accomplish because I needed the background knowledge first. This slowed down the process and included some extra factors. I thought it would be valuable to list out this barrier as a reminder.
List out the challenges that stood in the way of completing your projects.
The Annual Review Is The Perfect Time to Let Things Go
Now that we have thought about challenges, let’s call out the challenges or barriers that we really want to release for future projects.
When we focus on releasing what is holding us back from success, we are getting more familiar with the idea that it really needs to be pushed aside. If you’re anything like me, you will reach this decision after weeks of long hard thought. But the process must start somewhere and there is no better time to think about this then now.
Some ideas that came to my mind immediately:
- Eliminate places where I feel like my time was being wasted
- Procrastination with moving forward with a business idea
- Self-doubt about being a leader.
Now that I’ve called out the trouble areas, when I am setting up my plan for next year, I can make sure that I’m setting up opportunities that don’t leave room for these areas.
I also have the things I want to avoid written down. This list can serve as a good sounding board when I am feeling stuck.
Use an Annual Review to Find Your Focus
Now that you have had a chance to think about and write down achievements and challenges, it’s time to get clear on what your focus should be going forward. You are now able to be intentional about your goal setting and planning for the upcoming months which will be helpful.
Let’s look at an example.
If you wanted to focus on growth for the year, that can mean so many things! Growth can be your mindset, your career, your network, your skillset, your business or finances. I like to focus on one specific theme and apply it to a few different areas. Once you have set yourself up for growth, in this case, you can begin to strategize with that in mind.
This is a great way to make challenges in many areas of your life opposed to just one.
Using a theme will also allow you to encompass both professional and personal goals. Remember, both are equally important. I’ll be the first to admit that I tend to put personal goals on the back burner in favor of professional goals. This isn’t always the best decision because those personal goals that light you up inside can easily be pushed aside.
Write down what your focus is going to be and why that word, theme, phrase, etc. resonates with you and is important to your life.
Your Annual Review is Complete
Congratulations, you have completed a reflection of the past 12 months. Bonus! You also have thought of a direction for the future and have some examples to look back on as reminders.
Now you have a great idea of what your accomplishments are and where your challenges were. All this information will help you get your life in focus. You’ll also be able to spot trouble spots in the horizon so you can avoid getting too off track!
Reflection is sometimes not a fun task to do but it’s necessary to help us get a clear vision of where we have been and where we want to go.
Remember, this exercise isn’t just for the new year. I do this monthly and quarterly and you can too! This will really kick your goal setting into high gear.
We hope you found this post helpful! Share with your friends so you can all get started off right. Share in the comments what your focus is for the future.