Practicing an Annual Review

December 27, 2013

I enjoy taking some time at the end of the year to reflect on the year that was. I relive fun memories that I made with my family. I see victories. I trace how God has worked in my life. And I am reminded of goals that are still left unmet.

Several years ago, I came across a variety of different articles that encouraged me to be more interactive with my reflection. They introduced me to the practice of an annual review and included questions like:

  • What went well this year?
  • What did not go well this year?
  • List major events from the year
  • Thinking of a career or business, what has worked? What hasn’t worked out so well this year?
  • What mistakes did you make this year?
  • What lessons have you taken away from the year? What will you change to avoid the same mistakes in the next year?
  • What do you need to celebrate from this past year?

These questions help you dig a bit deeper into the year. They remind you to celebrate the victories and take away from the challenges and things that did not go so well.

This year I am planning to use a free workbook from Susannah Conway called Unraveling the Year Ahead 2014. It is a balance of looking back at the year that was and then looking ahead to plan for the new year.

  • Do you take time at the end of the year to look back?
  • What questions do you ask yourself?
  • Do you plan for the year ahead? What tools or resources have you found helpful?

Here are some of the resources I have found helpful in conducting an annual review:

  • How to Conduct an Annual Review by Chris Guillebeau – Chris pointed me to the Unraveling the Year Ahead workbook
  • The Year That Was – article from Sitepoint
  • My Year in Review Worksheet from Cynthia Morris
  • 52 x 7 – Jon Acuff decided to do away with New Year‘s resolutions and came up with an idea to set 52 day goals in 7 different areas of life. His original article is not currently available but I have linked to an article that quotes from his original. I tried it out this year and saw success.

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