The end of 2011 is almost upon us. So, how was your year? Here’s a three-part framework for reviewing your year.
The way I like to do this is to grab a sheet of paper or open a text document on your computer. Then create 3 equal columns on your page.
The first step is to look at the results you produced. What happened? What didn’t?
At the top of the first column put the word ‘Accomplishments’. And your task is to write down at least 30 things that you achieved this year. Yes, that’s correct, I said a minimum of 30! This forces you to look beyond the obvious. Ideally, you’re aiming for 50-100 items.
Include: your relationships, money earnt, new experiences, gifts given, knowledge acquired, health and fitness levels…
If you made a list of written goals at the start of the year, grab this and compare what you said you’d do and what actually happened.
Also, record your partial successes. If you were aiming to earn $100,000 for the year and you reached $75,000 then that’s a result worth noting.
Now we want to learn from what happened. Specifically, we want to take note of the reasons behind our successes and failures.
At the top of the second column write the word ‘Lessons’. Now, for each of your accomplishments put a note as to how you achieved this result. What was the key thing you did to achieve this? Alternatively, what stopped you from getting the result you wanted? Remember, this is your personal list so being honest with yourself is your best way to learn.
Now we have learnt something from our year, it’s time to take advantage of this by exploring the opportunities from both our accomplishments and our lessons.
At the top of the third column, write the word ‘Opportunities’.
Now, for each of your accomplishments and lessons reflect on the things you’d like to do more of in the future.
For instance, if you were writing a blog you may have reached a goal around the number of page views you had. Great accomplishment! And, as a lesson your page view stats might have revealed that the posts where you used a video were you most read pages. Thus, as an opportunity you might decide to do more videos in 2012.
Share What You’ve Noticed
Once you’ve completed this exercise, you’ll have a headstart for planning for 2012.
Feel free to share what you noticed doing this exercise by adding a comment below.