Why should you review your year – and how?


You may well be thinking, “Really? Why should I bother!?” – and you may have a point. After all, things change: unpredictable events, unforeseen outcomes and unintended consequences. Life happens.

On some level, we know that looking back is an essential step to moving forward. Yet we can give ourselves too many excuses to mention and avoid this exercise: “I was busy!”, “I AM busy!” What’s more, we can over-estimate our triumphs or inflate our failures (depending on our defaults). A clear head is needed to find the lessons to learn – and apply them to the year ahead.

So, time for pen and paper: dig out your goals, aims and plans for 2019 and take a good look at them. Use as many – or as little – of these 25 questions to help you reflect.

Which goals were achieved?
How did you succeed?
What helped you reach those goals?
How did this goal align with your values?
Who helped you?
How did you stay on track?
What worked well for you?
How did you overcome any setbacks?
Who were with when you were at your best?
How did your strengths support your success?

Which goals weren’t achieved?
On a scale of 1-10, how important was the goal to you?
How realistic was the goal?
What obstacles impeded your progress?
When did you know the goal would not be reached?
What did you lose by not achieving the goal?
How might you have benefitted by not achieving the goal?
What would have made a difference?
What, if any, other goals replaced the original ones?
How do you feel about those goals now?

What strikes you as you reflect on your answers?
How can you apply the insights you’ve gained?
Knowing what you now know, what do you want more/less of?
How do you want to feel in 12 months’ time?
What are the steps you will take, when?


Dawn is the author of ‘The Feedback Book’ and ‘How to be Zoomly at work’

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Image credit: YEAR IN REVIEW – @enterlinedesign-DepositPhotos

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