But before we can move ahead, it’s important that we take the time to look backward, too. One way to reflect on your progress and set goals for the future is by doing a personal year end review.
As the new year begins, it’s natural to think about what you accomplished over the last 12 months and what you want to achieve in the coming year. It’s a very reflective time of year for all of us. I know my mind has been racing with all the new ideas and goals I want to tackle this year and I’m excited to get going!
So what’s a personal review and how do you get started? Well, I’m glad you asked…
What is a personal year-end review?
A personal year-end review is an opportunity to take a step back and assess your life as a whole. We hear of employee and company reviews – but what about taking that same methodology to your own personal life?
Several productivity influencers that I follow have been doing this and encouraging their followers to do the same. Tiago Forte actually shared a template for his audience, and it is the personal year-end plan I’m going to follow.
You can get the year-end review template here! Join me!
Doing a personal year-end review allows you to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses, identify areas for improvement, and set goals for the future. Whether you’re a student, an influencer, a corporate junky, or a stay-at-home mama, a personal year-end review can benefit all of us.
Here are a few reasons everyone should do a personal year-end review…
1. A personal year-end review can help identify your strengths and weaknesses
Conducting a personal year-end review allows you to take a critical look at your life and identify your strengths and weaknesses. By acknowledging your weaknesses, you can work on improving them and becoming a better version of yourself.
On the other hand, recognizing your strengths can help you capitalize on them and achieve even greater success. Sometimes it’s hard to recognize these things about ourselves. Don’t be afraid to ask a friend or loved one what they think you’re fantastic at!! We all have God-given talents to provide for the world 🙂
2. Helps you set goals for the future
One of the main benefits of a personal year-end review is that it gives you the opportunity to set goals for the future. Whether you want to lose weight, save money, or advance in your career, a personal year-end review can help you identify specific goals and create a plan to achieve them.
If we don’t write down our goals, it’s almost impossible to start achieving them. I actually found an old Apple Note from 2017 where I wrote down my triathlon goals for that year. It was fun to see that I had achieved almost all of them!! And it reminded me that even though I’m not chasing athletic goals anymore, I can still set goals and plans for my year! (And you can too!)
3. Provides you time and space to reflect on your accomplishments
A personal year-end review is also a chance to reflect on your accomplishments over the past year. It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind and forget about all of the things you’ve achieved in the past year. (Because, no matter who you are – I promise you achieved SOMETHING!)
Taking the time to reflect on your accomplishments can help boost your confidence and motivation as you move forward. As we remember the hard work and how it paid off, we are reminded that we can do it again.
PRO TIP: One way to look back is to scroll through your social media (if you’re active) or look through your photo memories and see what accomplishments you documented or what experiences you want to make sure to repeat again.
4. Helps you make improvements moving forward
A personal year-end review can also help you identify areas in your life that need improvement. Maybe you want to spend more time with family and friends, reduce your stress levels, get to church more, or improve your work-life balance. I think we all have things we want to improve upon…
And whatever it is, a personal year-end review can help you identify specific actions you can take to make these improvements. We know that life happens in seasons, so maybe you want to break up the year into junks to have different focus areas throughout the year? Maybe you’re career focused in Q1 but take a step back to be more present with your kids in Q2?
And remember, you don’t have to start off January 1st with a huge bang! Improvements often take time, energy, and resources over time to see results. Be patient with yourself! We all want rapid results, and rapid success – but as long as you’re moving in the right direction, you’ll get there!
1% better every day = 37x by the end of the year!– James Clear
5. Allows you to celebrate your successes!! (And recognize any failures)
Finally, a personal year-end review is an opportunity to celebrate your successes. No matter how big or small, it’s essential to recognize and appreciate the things you’ve accomplished over the past year.
For me, that is something as small as being able to run again! Maybe for you, it’s following through on your social media detox, finally scheduling that dentist appointment, or getting the nerve to call up that friend from high school. Either way – remember that small successes happen all the time, whether we think it’s worth celebrating or not!
The same goes for any failures and things that we want to discontinue or put aside. Make sure to take the time to understand WHY something failed so you can learn and take the right actions for next time! Don’t dwell, reset!
How to Conduct a Personal Year-End Review
Now that you know the benefits of a personal year-end review, you may wonder how to do it. Don’t worry; I’ve got you!
Here are some steps you can follow to get started:
1. Set aside time for your review
The first step in conducting a personal year-end review is to set aside dedicated time for it. Choose a day or a few hours to be alone and uninterrupted. This will allow you to focus and really think about your life and goals for the year
- Turn off the notifications and put the email down for a while…
- Put on headphones or play music to get your mind thinking creatively
- Use a google doc or digital space to document so you can come reference and review material often
2. Reflect on the past year
Next, take some time to reflect on the past year. What were your accomplishments? What challenges did you face? What did you learn? Write down your thoughts and feelings about the past year. And I do mean it – WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN!!!
- How would you characterize the last year for yourself?
- Take notes to capture any ideas, projects, or goals that come up during this process to get them off your mind and on paper.
- List your 3 top wins or successes for the past year
3. Identify your strengths and weaknesses
After reflecting on the past year, take a moment to identify your strengths and weaknesses. What are you good at? What do you struggle with? Be honest with yourself, and try to be as specific as possible.
- What area(s) in your life do you most want to focus on based on your weaknesses?
- Where do you want to gain more clarity, inspiration, or direction in the next year to improve upon your strengths?
- Make an inventory of all completed projects and milestones – where did you exceed (and where did you tend to struggle?)
4. Set goals for the future
Now that you’ve identified your strengths and weaknesses, it’s time to set some goals for the future. Think about what you want to achieve in the coming year and beyond. Be specific and make sure your goals are measurable and attainable.
For example, instead of setting a goal to “lose weight,” set a goal to “lose 10 pounds in the next 6 months by exercising 3 times per week and eating a balanced diet.”
- What are your immediate next steps to achieve these goals?
- What new habits can you cultivate that will help you to achieve these goals?
- What bad habits can you eliminate that will help you towards your goals?
Create a plan to achieve your goals
Once you’ve set your goals, it’s time to create a plan to achieve them. Break your goals down into smaller, more manageable tasks and set deadlines for each one. This will help you stay on track and make progress toward your goals without feeling overwhelmed or unsure where to start.
- Set micro goals that align with your bigger picture goal(s) for the year (with deadlines)
- Recognize what the biggest risk will be chasing your new goal? (What could potentially hold you back?)
- What are you looking forward to learning and doing while working towards this goal?
Consider your values and priorities
As you set goals and create a plan, it’s important to consider your values and priorities. What is most important to you in life? Make sure your goals align with your values and priorities. This will help you stay motivated and focused on what truly matters to you.
- What brings you the most joy and how what are you going to do to have more of that?
- Who or what, other than yourself, are you most committed to loving and serving?
- What is one undeveloped talent you want to explore and prioritize?
Reflect on your progress regularly
Finally, make sure to reflect on your progress regularly. Whether it’s weekly, monthly, or quarterly, take the time to review your goals and see how you’re progressing. This will help you stay on track and make any necessary adjustments to your plan.
- Set a deadline to publish or share your Annual Review (so you don’t keep putting it off!)
- Put these deadlines into your calendar to remind you along the way to reflect on your progress.
- Finally – What would make this year your best year ever?
The Wrap-Up – Personal Year-End Reviews
Conducting a personal year-end review can be a powerful tool for personal growth and development. It allows you to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses, set goals for the future, and make improvements in your life.
Whether you’re a student, a professional, or a stay-at-home parent, a personal year-end review can benefit anyone. If you’re serious about chasing your goals this year, take some time to conduct your own personal year-end review and start the new year off right!
I’m cheering for YOU!