How To Complete A Comprehensive Year Review And Plan Next Year

The end of the year is often a good time to slow down, relax, reflect and reassess what’s important to us. The best way to do so is to conduct an end-of-year review, which will help clarify what our focus should be the next year.

I’ve previously shared why reviewing our year can set us up for better success next year and how to review your year. I’ve since learnt that an end-of-year review can be made even more powerful by investing a little more time to complete a comprehensive year review, which serves as a springboard for our next year.

Here are five reasons why it is beneficial to review our year.

  1. We will get closure on our year, even if some things are still incomplete.
  2. It will help us to recommit to what’s most important.
  3. We will give ourselves a greater chance at having a better 12 months ahead.
  4. We will be able to extract lessons we have learned through the year by reflecting on our experiences.
  5. It will help us become the best version of ourselves as we strive to continually improve.

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

All that is required is about 60-120 minutes of uninterrupted time, along with a notepad or journal, or a digital note-taking program like Evernote.

It is important to recognise that the more we put into this exercise, the more value we will receive from it, which means the better we will set ourselves to have a great year.

There are two parts to this exercise. In the first part, we start with where we our currently as we remember and reflect on our previous 12 months. In the second part, we will look ahead and start envisioning what we want over the next 12 months.

Where I am Currently – Remembering My Past 12 Months

Complete the following statements:

  1. The thing I am most grateful for in the last 12 months was…
  2. The person I am most grateful for in the last 12 months was…
  3. My favourite memory from the last 12 months was…
  4. My proudest accomplishment of the last 12 months was…
  5. The most important lesson I learned in the last 12 months was…
  6. A new, empowering habit I developed in the last 12 months was…
  7. A new skill I developed in the last 12 months was…
  8. A new relationship I formed, personal or professional, in the last 12 months was…
  9. The things I did to make my body stronger and healthier in the last 12 months were…
  10. The things I did to grow myself as a person in the last 12 months were…
  11. The things I did to enhance my relationships in the last 12 months were…
  12. The things I did to improve my finances in the last 12 months were…
  13. The things I did to progress my career or business success in the last 12 months were…
  14. The most significant contribution I made or gave in the last 12 months was…
  15. One thing or one way I held myself back from making significant progress in the last 12 months was…
  16. The times I stopped myself from asking for what I wanted in the last 12 months were…
  17. The person who had the most negative impact on me in the last 12 months was…
  18. The times when I felt overwhelmed in the last 12 months were when…
  19. The times when I wasn’t myself in the last 12 months were…
  20. One goal I wanted to achieve but didn’t in the last 12 months was…

Where do I want to go – Envisioning My Next 12 Months

Complete the following statements:

  1. The way I will express more gratitude in the next 12 months will include…
  2. The person I want to be known as in the next 12 months will be……
  3. My favourite memory in the next 12 months will be when…
  4. The accomplishment that will make me proud in the next 12 months will be when…
  5. The people I will enlist as mentors or coaches in the next 12 months will include…
  6. A new, empowering habit I will develop in the next 12 months will be…
  7. A new, empowering skill I will develop in the next 12 months will be…
  8. The new relationships I will form, personal or professional, in the next 12 months will include…
  9. The things I will do to make my body stronger and healthier in the next 12 months will include…
  10. The things I will do to grow myself as a person in the next 12 months will include…
  11. The things I will do to enhance my relationships in the next 12 months will include…
  12. The things I will do to improve my finances in the next 12 months will include…
  13. The things I will do to progress my career or business success in the next 12 months will include…
  14. The most significant contribution I want to make or give in the next 12 months is…
  15. One thing I will do to prevent holding myself back from making significant progress in the next 12 months is…
  16. The things I will do to get more comfortable asking for what I want in the next 12 months will include…
  17. The way I will deal with people who have a negative impact on me in the next 12 months will include…
  18. Any time I feel overwhelmed in the next 12 months, I will deal with it by…
  19. The things I will do to express more of my true self in the next 12 months will include…
  20. The top three things I want to achieve in the next 12 months are…
  21. The way I will deal with obstacles or challenges in the next 12 months are…
  22. If I am feeling stressed, the way I will deal with it will include…
  23. If I find myself making excuses for why I am not making progress towards my goals, I will…
  24. The next 12 months will see me continue to live out my purpose or mission which is to…
  25. The next 12 months will be my best year yet because…

While there are an infinite number of questions we could ask ourselves to reflect on our past 12 months and look ahead to our next 12 months, these questions are a great to get the process started. As you do the exercise, feel free to add in any additional questions that would be valuable to you. The key is to actually do it.

Action Step: Block out a couple of hours in your calendar within the next few days to start going through this process. Feel free to copy and paste these questions into a digital note-taking program or document. Alternatively, you can handwrite them out in a journal as you do this exercise.

Question: What are you most looking forward to over the next 12 months?

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