Reviewing our past year can influence the coming year better than setting New Year’s resolutions and goals.
Why is this?
Maybe it is, as philosopher George Santayana said, and Winston Churchill alluded to, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
It may be simpler, such as reviewing your past year will help you create focus and clarity for this next year.
Instead of making empty goals and resolutions that often create no significant action, I suggest taking a little dedicated time, 30-60 minutes should do, to review this past year using the following questions as a guide.
Spending this time, focused and distraction-free, will offer valuable insights to create a more fulfilling, happier, and productive year ahead. Be open and honest but don’t beat yourself up about. This is a simple exercise designed to help you move forward, not dwell in the past.
NOTE: The questions are deliberately written in the first person, as you will be asking them of yourself.
YEAR IN REVIEW QUESTIONS
First, look at what you wanted to accomplish. This is where you look back on goals, objectives, plans, etc. that you achieved or did not achieve. Both are insightful and important to recognize.
• What were my three main objectives I wanted to accomplish this past year? Did I accomplish them? Yes or No? Why or Why Not?
Next, consider what you learned. This could be lessons from mistakes or opportunities, challenges or successes.
• What three key things did I learn this past year? What am I doing with what I learned?
Next, look at what you actually accomplished. Maybe you changed directions or took advantage of unexpected opportunities.
• What three key things did I accomplish personally and professionally this past year? What was my motivation or reason?
Now, take an honest look at what challenged you. Pay attention to the challenges within your control and those not within your control. Again, be honest and open but don’t kick yourself too hard.
• What three key things challenged me most personally and professionally this past year? What did I do to handle the challenge?
Finally, take a look at how you are using your time. This step is designed to literally look at the many different things you do and then ask yourself if you are the best person for that specific task. There are tasks you are doing that only you are capable of doing or you are the best one suited to do them. Conversely, there are tasks that can and should be delegated, outsourced, and/or removed from your list. A good way to complete this exercise is to make a list of all the things you do daily, weekly, and monthly, then indicate if that task should be done by you or delegated, outsourced or removed.
• What tasks consume most of my time on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis? Who should ideally do these tasks? You – Delegate – Outsource – Remove.
PSYCHOLOGY OF THE POWER OF THREE
You have noticed each question comes with a suggestion of three responses.
This is intentional.
I call it the “Power of Three,” a principle I learned years ago and have now adopted as a personal focus.
There’s a little psychology behind the concept of three, according to Sean D’Souza on Psychotactics.com. “The brain finds it relatively easy to grasp threes… Push that marginally up to four and the brain gets confused about where to look and what to do…”
Part of this lies in our childhood, D’Souza asserts. “As a child everything you did and learned seemed to be centered around three — A,B,C; 1,2,3; Three blind mice, Three Musketeers, Trinity, Three Stooges and Huey, Louie and Dewey (Quack! Quack! Quack!).”
Three is easy to process. It’s focused and finite. This will be especially helpful in the reviewing and analyzing process. It will also be helpful for planning as we will explore next week.
READY TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT?
Reviewing your past year will be incredibly helpful in making your next year better. If these ideas connect with you, take the 30-60 minutes and do something about it.
If you would like some help, I offer you three options.
- Free Workbook – Drop me a note to receive a free copy of the Red Edge Strategy 2019 Workbook containing every question we covered today, plus the #Power of Three strategy we’ll cover next week.
- #RedEdgeLive – Every Thursday at 10 a.m. I am live on Facebook interviewing leaders, authors, and entrepreneurs, as well as sharing a few of my own ideas. Click this link to enjoy last week’s Red Edge Live where I elaborate on these ideas and review some of my 2018.
- Red Edge Strategy Workshop – This is a three-hour workshop designed to help you set aside dedicated time to review your past year and create better focus and clarity for the coming year with the “Power of Three” strategy.
Thursday, January 24th, 3-6 p.m.
Stevens-Henager College – Logan Campus
755 Main Street, Logan, Utah 84321
Drop me a note for more details and to reserve your seat.
There you go my friends. Three options to take this to the next level.
Have a great Monday! Thanks for letting me share.
p.s. Take 13 minutes today to review these questions and see if they have earned the right for another 30-60 minutes.
Discover how you can “Gain The Red Edge” by focusing your efforts, clarifying your message, sharing your story, and creating impact with a complimentary Gain the Red Edge coaching call.