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.
Steps for an Annual Review
1. Review the past year. What went well, and what have you learned? What obstacles have you encountered and how have you handled them? Look over the results of weekly and monthly reviews from last year.
2. If you have not been doing regular reviews, consider making a resolution to start now. They provide invaluable information for an annual review. I use a binder with lots of forms for tracking that includes the two below: the Weekly & Monthly Review Tracker and the Annual Review Metrics Chart. Choose a time and day that works well for reviewing, and make it a habit.
3. Review your value statement: does it still pinpoint what you do and why, or does it need to be updated? If you update it, how does that impact your goals?
4. Review your goals: Are you still excited about them, or is it time to choose some new ones? Choose the life areas you want to focus on in the upcoming year. 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.
5. Review the vision identified in your strategic plan – what the world will look like if you succeed in your mission to solve a problem. Do your goal choices 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.
6. Plan for the coming year. 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). Look for meaningful metrics to track in the life areas you have chosen to focus on. Attempting to track too much can be overwhelming, so choose carefully. Some ideas for metrics and tools for tracking them are below. Learn more about how to set goals, find ideas for goals, and more tools for goals.
7. Review your workspace and task management system. 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? Do your routines still work well for you? See Time Management 101 & the Science of Productivity.
8. Print calendars and any updated lists if desired.
My Planner Binder has tabs with forms for: System, Review, Routine, Focus, and Projects.
Ideas for metrics to track for an annual review:
- Physical: weight, body mass index, blood pressure
- Financial: Income, savings, investments, net worth
- Career: Work projects completed, time audit of productivity
- Mental: goals achieved, books read
- Emotional: Acts of kindness, emotional intelligence score
- Relationships: activities with family and friends, loving actions for closer relationships
- Character: volunteer activities, creative work
- Social: group activities
- Organizational: Home projects completed
- Spiritual: frequency of prayer, meditation, gratitude
- Purpose: time spent in flow or contributing w/talents, Work/Life balance score
- Recreational: trips taken, new activities tried
Tools for Tracking Metrics
- The Weekly & Monthly Review Tracker (see above) is one page with two forms for tracking reviews. Pair the tracker with a free one page printable pdf: Review & Plan has steps for daily, weekly, monthly & annual reviews plus ideas for metrics to track.
- 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 Review Metrics Chart is a free pdf from the Daily PlanIt.
- A habit tracker and other printables at Tools to Plan an Awesome New Year.
- A time audit chart from the Daily PlanIt.
- 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.
- “How to Conduct Your Own Annual Review” at The Art of Non-Conformity.
- 8,760 Hours from alexvermeer.com
- The Annual Review: Setting Yourself Up For Success at whyileftgoogle.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.
- Level 10 Life: 100 Goals in 10 Areas of Focus from Boho Berry
- Think About It at franksonnenbergonline.com
- Live Your Legend Goal Workbook