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. Chris uses a spreadsheet to write out his; I use a single subject notebook to write mine. This year I’m moving mine to Evernote, even though I enjoy the act of writing out my thoughts.
I only use this tool for myself, not for the spending plan and yearly family calendar that I create for the following year. As a mom of 5 kids who often has to live in the moment (like cleaning up poop smeared on the wall by a 3 year old), I can’t keep my eye on the bigger picture as much as I would like. 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. Sure life could change like an unexpected pregnancy or a job loss, and I can adjust the plan to work for me, knowing I can try again the following year.
The first step for me is reviewing what worked and what didn’t work in the current year. I spent some time over a few days answering these two critical questions. Since I’ve already done the Annual Review 2 times, I have a written record of what I wanted to accomplish in the year and how to get there. If you’re starting from scratch, give yourself some time with these questions since answering them will help you with the next part of the review.
Some of the items on my lists:
What well well this year?
- Being more mindful of my time and priorities
- Using Evernote to plan and keep track of life
- Using automatic payments and electronic payments for bills
- Speaking up more for myself
- Monthly menu plan
- Vegetable garden – lots of produce
- Writing up education plans for the kids for the 2011-2012 school year and mostly sticking to the plan
What did not go well this year?
- Allowing my priorities to be overridden by other’s priorities
- Not getting all of my life into Evernote like my zone cleaning lists
- Not keeping paper and Google calendars always up to date
- Volunteering at my children’s school
- Finding a way to keep exercise in my daily life
- Not delegating tasks to my children and husband
- Not spending enough time on planning to keep an eye on approaching deadlines
- Having to buy another laptop in the same year
The other list I’ll make at the beginning of the process are the noteworthy events of the year. Basically this is my success list to keep me motivated and focused on my goals. I think we all need to remind ourselves of accomplishments, big and small, from time to time to bolster our self-confidence. In January, I’m planning on putting visual reminders of my past successes on the inspiration board in my office.
Next up: Results from this year’s goals
Because I love meeting new people and sharing, this post is linked to:
Tackle It Tuesday and Family Time