This week, I'm sharing the details behind doing a full yearly review. Today, I want to talk about the first part: looking back.

Making plans is good and really powerful. But as the name of this process already suggests, the chunk of the work lies in the process of going over your year and take some time to think about that.

This part of the review consists of these steps:

  1. Gather highlights. This is the fun part. Go over all the data you have from the past year, and make a big list of all the things that stood out and make you proud. Sources I'm using are my calendar, journal and pictures. You'll be amazed to notice how many things you already forgot.
  2. Gather the sad things and failures. Much, much harder than the first item. The second step is to make a list of the things that made you really sad, made you angry, the things you failed at. It can also be a list of things you want to change. You don't need to make suggestions or think about how you'll be fixing these issues in this step.
  3. Review your goals, if you had them. Did you have any resolutions? Goals? Things on your list that you wanted to accomplish last year? This is the time to take it out and add the things you accomplished to the highlights. It's up to you if you want to add the incomplete goals to the second list.
  4. Review your process. Are there things you want to change in your goal-setting system? Did you find yourself getting stuck because of setting too many goals? Did you work on things enough? What kind of concrete changes do you want to make in this process?

I always really enjoy this step. Even without actually making plans for next year, going over the last one probably already makes you realise which things you want to keep doing (or want to do more), and which things you would actually love to stop doing.