Since the end of 2008, I’ve been using the Annual Review tool created by Chris of The Art of NonConformity to plan the following year for myself. The Annual Review process provide me with a flight plan for the year, along with frequent check ins to ensure I have stayed on track as much as I can.
Life could change like an unexpected pregnancy or running injury. I can adjust the plan to work for me, knowing I can try again the following year. In 2013, I set a goal of running a half marathon, however, I had a severe ankle injury at the beginning of the year, and didn’t accomplish my goal until the following year.
Annual Review: Overview
This process works best when I can find some time to be alone and write down notes. While I’ve tried using Evernote to do the review, I find plain old paper and pen works best.
If I can’t get a lot of time alone, I try to work on it 15 to 30 minutes at a time. Since the process can be overwhelming at times, shorter increments of time help me stay focused on the task.
1. Write down what worked and what didn’t work for me this year.
I try to write everything down, even if it’s something small like making sure I drink enough water each day. As I jot down items, themes will begin to emerge that will shape my goals for the following year. I also look at the goals I set and evaluate how I did.
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2. Decide on goals for 2015 for each category in my plan.
Based on Chris’s plan, I use the following categories:
- Friends and Family
- Blogging (Earning)
- Financial (Saving)
I like to stick to 3 to 5 goals per category; 3 goals usually works best for me. As I write down my goals, I write out my plan to get to those goals. My plan usually includes small daily steps that build momentum over time.
After reading The Slight Edge earlier this year, I understood why daily, small investments of time could reap such a powerful benefit. For example, I have been doing sit ups almost daily since I decided to get healthy in college. Despite having 5 kids, my back has been strong and my stomach has remained relatively flat. All I do is about 30 to 40 sit ups. Small dividends in the bank that have built up over time.
3. Decide on Themes for 2015 and pick out a word or words to remind me and inspire me for those themes.
I started choosing words as reminders in 2013. I like having the words in front of me daily even though I have a vision board in my office that I also see daily.
Have you tried doing an Annual Review to help you have a more successful year?