The next step in a full yearly review is a bit fuzzy, but it is about interpreting your review and the brainstorm you did before.

In the first two reviews I did, I basically tried to convert my gathered data into a set of big, audacious goals. But that didn’t work well for me, because I kept procrastinating on my goals during the year. If your deadline is the end of the year, there won’t be any urgency.

Also, scheduling stuff a year in advance is really difficult, because your interests changes and you change as well.

This is how I did it last year, and it worked really well for me:

  • Start by thinking about your year as a whole, and try to come up with a “theme” for each quarter. You can also try to write down a couple of keywords for each group of three months.
  • For each quarter, the next step is to make things a little more concrete, but leave enough space to move things around. The goal is to have a general idea of where you want to be at the end of the year, and map that to four quarters.
  • For the first quarter, spend the remaining time you have to come up with concrete goals.

By now, you’ll have a rough outline of your year, with themes per quarter and a general idea of the bigger things you’ll want to accomplish. Focussing on goals for the first three months makes the process a lot easier.