It’s almost the end of the 2011. Where has the time gone? How was it for you?
Now it’s December and it’s my favorite time of the year because of the holidays. I do wish one night I’d wake up and see snow covering the city, but that’s unlikely to happen in Jacksonville, FL.
It’s also a great month to do a review of your year. Not just sit and think about it, but find a quiet time with a piece of paper and pen.
Why should you do a review of your year?
You need to know what worked and what didn’t work this year. You need to make sure you’re doing the right things. You need to know where you’re failing. You need to make sure you’re on the right path.
If we don’t know our situation now, we can’t properly set goals for 2012.
Chris Guillebeau does an annual review and begins with these two questions.
- What went well this year?
- What didn’t go well this year?
This is a great place to start. If you need help jogging your memory, take a look at old photos, blog posts, a journal, or anything that will help you remember this past year.
December, not January, is a great month to start planning for 2012. I feel January brings a fresh start. Whatever happened last year is done. The next 12 months are spotless and ready to be filled with whatever we put into it.
If we plan in December, then we can hit the ground running in January, while others take weeks to get started.
Don’t do it like I used to do it. I would think of some resolutions I wanted to make in January. What usually happened? I might do it for a couple weeks or a couple months, but slowly go back to my old ways. By the end of the year, I have completely forgotten what I wanted to change. Then I make those same resolutions the next year. Insanity for sure.
Last year was the first time I had ever done a year in review. Looking back at my 2010 review, I didn’t have many accomplishments, because I started taking action the last few months of the year. Before that my life was the same every day.
When thinking what accomplishments I was most proud of, I could only think of one, which was running my first half marathon in December! I honestly didn’t accomplish anything else worth mentioning.
This year, I’ll have a lot more to write down. I’ll assess what went well, what didn’t, and use that to make 2012 even better.
Doing the year in review shouldn’t be rushed. You should give yourself as long as you need.
Your Year in Review Worksheet
I’ve created a free worksheet that has questions to help you review your year and plan for the next. Download it, print it out and find a quiet time to complete it. Be honest with your answers. These are just for yourself.
If you can’t come up with enough answers, like me last year, then you know you didn’t push yourself enough this year. Let that motivate you for the next.
If you’ve never done a year in review, try it this year. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Don’t just fill this out and put it away in a draw. I encourage you to refer back to it throughout the year. You’re going to need to be reminded.
I really want this to get in as many hands as possible, because I really believe in its effectiveness. Please share it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or e-mail it!
Next week, I’ll share my annual review with you.
Finally let me ask:
-What went well for you and what didn’t in 2011?
Photo by MSVG