Once a year, it’s good to take a look at how things are going in different areas of your life. This big picture view let’s you evaluate how things are going and plan for what’s next.
Part I – Review the past year
- Look over the results of weekly and monthly reviews from last year. How many goals set for the previous year were achieved? What were the biggest accomplishments? Was there good work/life balance? Did growth take place? What were the highlights: best books read, movies watched, and trips taken?
- If you have not been doing regular reviews, consider making a resolution to start now. They provide invaluable information for an annual review. Choose a time and day that works well for reviewing and make it a habit. The simplest way is to make notes on a printed calendar, or the Weekly & Monthly Review Tracker and Annual Metrics Chart are tools available below.
- Also look at the biggest challenges encountered, and the biggest time wasters. What lessons were learned, and what will you change?
Part II – Review mission – vision – purpose – values – goals
- Review your value statement: does it still reflect your values and pinpoint what you do and why, or does it need to be updated? If you update it, how does that impact your goals?
- Review your goals: Are you still excited about them, or is it time to choose some new ones?
- Review the vision identified in your strategic plan – what the world will look like if you succeed in your mission to solve a problem. What goal choices will produce value and move you closer to your vision? Are your goals innovative and audacious? Are they big enough while still being realistic? Are you undertaking too much or not enough? How can you move from good to great? Find more tools at the Brand & Purpose Toolkit.
Part III – Review your system, routine, and workspace
- Review your task management system, routine, and workspace. Do they still work well for you, or are there changes you could make to increase your efficiency? Are there ways you can work smarter? Are your desk, files, and office organized well? Consider doing a time audit to see how you are spending your time. See Time Management 101 & the Science of Productivity.
Part IV – Plan for the upcoming year
- Choose goals in different life areas. The Goal Shift Chart at Choosing Goals is a simple way to identify priorities. For a more in-depth status report, check out the Life Area Energy Level Gauge. It is similar to the Wheel of Life, but is quicker, easier, and gives a better overview.
- Measures matter, so look for meaningful metrics to track. Some ideas for metrics and tools to track them are listed below. Attempting to track too much can be overwhelming, so choose carefully.
- Create written habit plans for the habits you wish to create. Other goals may require planning to make them SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based). Learn more about how to set goals, find ideas for goals, and more tools for goals.
- Print calendars and any updated lists if desired.
Download the Review & Plan pdf with ideas for metrics to track plus steps for daily, weekly, monthly & annual reviews.
Ideas for metrics to track for an annual review:
- Mental: goals achieved, books read, classes taken
- Career: Work projects completed, time audit of productivity
- Financial: Income, savings, investments, net worth
- Physical: weight, body mass index, blood pressure
- Recreational: trips taken, new activities tried, screen time
- Organizational: rooms decluttered, home projects completed, new recipes tried
- Relationships: activities with family and friends, loving actions for closer relationships
- Emotional: Acts of kindness, emotional intelligence score
- Social: group activities, new people met, donations
- Character: volunteer activities, creative work
- Purpose: time spent in flow or contributing w/talents, Work/Life balance score
- Spiritual: frequency of prayer, meditation, gratitude
Tools for Tracking Metrics
Download the Annual Metrics Chart pdf
more free printables:
- The Weekly & Monthly Review Tracker (see above) is one page with two forms for tracking reviews. Pair the tracker with the Review & Plan pdf.
- A habit tracker and other printables at Tools to Plan an Awesome New Year.
- A time audit chart from the Daily PlanIt.
- The Annual Planner from the Daily PlanIt is also still available. It is a free 9 page pdf booklet with forms to capture the results of weekly and monthly reviews for a year. It includes weekly and monthly review action steps & review questions, ideas for metrics, and an annual chart to record progress.
- The Annual Calendar from Vertex42 is great for planning and tracking progress.
- Wearable fitness trackers automate metrics on sleep and activity.
- There are many habit tracker apps to track a variety of metrics: see Apps for Happiness and Personal Development.
- Financial metrics can be tracked with an app like Mint.
The Annual Review Planner Binder includes Productivity Tools for a System & Routine, Goal Tools for Review, Brand & Purpose Tools for Focus. Or you can get 27 tools in the Annual Review Toolkit to stay on top of regular reviews and on target with goals that align with your values. If you want to keep it super simple, there is a one page form at Paused, or On Hold?
To learn more about setting and acheiving goals, check out the free Daily PlanIt short course on How to Set Goals, and my eBook, “Get Goaling.
- “How to Conduct Your Own Annual Review” at The Art of Non-Conformity
- 8,760 Hours from alexvermeer.com
- “Conducting an Annual Self Review” at quintcareers.
- Your Year in Review: 50 Questions to Help You Reflect…at into-mind.com
- 50+ Better Questions to Ask Than How to be More Productive at Productive Flourishing
- Think About It at franksonnenbergonline.com
- Live Your Legend Goal Workbook
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