Don’t forget the Past Year. Learn from It!

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Don’t forget the Past Year. Learn from It!

The year is nearly at an end and I guess that you’ve been so busy living life that you haven’t had time to review it.

Taking time out to review always feels like a bit of a chore but I am here to tell you that it is worth the investment in time. How else can you build on your successes and learn from your experience?

It’s a bit like clearing the out of date food from your cupboards, once you do it you can take stock of what is actually there and plan what to replace it with.

Reviewing your year will give you a new perspective, help you see where you need help and give you an opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge what has gone well for you. People who regularly review their personal and professional lives develop increased self-confidence and self awareness as they become more aware of what works for them and unhelpful patterns that they may be repeating.

The great thing about this type of review is that you can be brutally honest; no one has to see it unless you want to share it.

Here are my top 5 steps to review your year:

  1. Go on a date

Firstly book some time with yourself, in your calendar find some time and mark out a couple of hours if you can, or you make want to do it in a few 30 minute chunks. Make sure that you won’t be disturbed, maybe you can go and sit in a coffee shop or library, or early in the morning when your home is quiet, perhaps it’s in your lunch break or on a Sunday afternoon.

  1. Ask ‘What have I done?’

Secondly find what you’ve been up to, maybe you have an electronic calendar that you update regularly, or perhaps you’re still using an old technology, pen and diary system, social media may have a great record of what you’ve been up to, or maybe you have a planner up on your wall. Bring all of your diaries, calendars, planners, invites to events, and social media together and have them ready to review.

  1. Draw it out

Thirdly get a sheet of paper, draw a horizontal line across the middle of the page and list the months along it, equally dispersed.

  1. Start Plotting

Now review you diary and plot good experiences above the horizontal line in the month they took place,  and difficult times or learning experiences below the line again in the month that they took place.

  1. Get Questioning

Now you have this picture of your year, ask yourself these questions.

  • What’s been the best, and why?
  • What are you most proud in terms of what you achieved, accomplished or brought into being this year – in life and work?
  • What’s been the hardest?
  • What event or experience represented the “worst” of the year, and why exactly?
  • Who has been most helpful?
  • Who are the top three helpers whom you’d like to knowledge?

Once you’ve completed your thorough review and listed the lessons, give yourself a pat on the back, you are way ahead of many people who go from one year to another without taking the learning with them. The next step is then to start setting goals to have your best year ever, I’ll share how to do that in my next blog.


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