Sorry, long post. I’ll finish this series with a collection of links to easily walk through each section on the day you’re actually doing your review.

Second step: brainstorming. In this phase, you’re going to take a list of areas. Combining it with the review of your past year, you’ll build an extensive list of things that you want to start doing, stop doing, do less, do more, etcetera.

Here is the list of areas I’m using:

  • Business/work: what kind of projects do you want to take on? What do you want to learn? Things to start, things to quit? Do you see yourself in the current position for the next couple of years?
  • Relationship: what are things you want to change about yourself in your relationship? Things to start doing? Things to stop doing? This can also involve ideas for projects to take on together.
  • Family: make a list which contains an overview of all the family members with whom you interact with most of the time. For every family member, write down thoughts, ideas, projects, things to ask, things to give. How can you change this relationship? What can you offer to renew and deepen your bond?
  • Friends: start by making an overview of your friends. For every friend in your diagram, write down thoughts, ideas, projects, things to ask, things to give. Do you need to make changes to your list of friends? How would you want to see your different friendships grow?
  • Spiritual: think about the spiritual things you want to do, experience or work on (if that applies to you). Books to read, church related stuff, etcetera.
  • Health: think about the obvious things first. How is your sleeping rhythm? What would you want to change about what you’re eating? Sports? Also think about other aspects of your health, things to check up? Dentals?
  • Financial, earning: any big changes coming up in terms of earning? Think about your expenses as well. Where do you want to see yourself in the future, financially? What are your needs?
  • Financial, giving: are there changes you want to make in terms of sharing financially? What percentage of what you earn are you giving?
  • Financial, saving: what would be your saving goals? Should you start saving for big things that are coming up? What percentage of what you earn are you saving?
  • Learning: outside (might be related to) work, what are things you want to pick up? Languages? Skills? Instruments?
  • Fun and happiness: what are things you can do to really increase your happiness? What will bring a ton of fun this year?

Some useful tips:

  • Don’t go over this in a linear fashion. If you’re stuck at one, move over to another area to write down things.
  • It is about quantity, you’ll focus in on making things actionable in the next phase. So write down everything that comes up.
  • Think big! Small improvements and changes are probably pretty easy to come up with. You have a full year ahead of you: if you set yourself to it, there is so much you can accomplish. You can make bold bets anytime, but this is a perfect moment to do so.
  • Think fun. It is quite easy to come up with a lot of things that are good but not necessarily fun. This is what the separate section is for, but be sure to go over each area and add things that you’re going to do just because they are fun.

Finally: the earlier you can start recording your ideas, the easier this part of your review will go. So dedicate a part of your physical or digital notebook and start dumping your thoughts to get prepared.