Many people dedicate the end of December or beginning of January to Annual Planning, while defining their objectives for the coming year and setting New Year's resolutions.
However, it seems being much more important and impactful to look first at the year that has passed by doing an Annual Review. Really to dive into memories - choose some favorite photos, songs, movies, books, articles, things that shaped the year and you. Who or what had the most impact on you the past year? What were the best moments? What was the biggest challenge? What and why could not you achieve?
Another concept that I learned and applied last year, is to choose a year theme as opposed to doing resolutions. Theme is more general and should be used as a guiding star. It defines your main focus for the year, sets the priorities and helps to make choices.
For 2020 my theme was "Rediscovery". And it was a year of rediscovery in more ways than I expected.
For 2021 my new theme is "Challenge" as per Carol Dweck if you are familiar with her work. I was deciding between the Challenge and Effort, but feel more connected and motivated by the first one.
2021: Important achievements require a clear focus and all our effort (Carol Dweck)
If you quite new to Annual Reviews or feel that it is a bit too late to do it in the second half of January, please believe me - better late than never!
Here is a great template offered by Ness Labs (See and download here: Year In Review Template • Ness Labs). It is simplistic but has all the needed elements. You will look into 9 areas of life and respond three important questions:
What went well?
What didn’t go so well?
What will you focus on next year?
Even if you have never done an annual review it will take you about 2 hours to fill out this template. It will give you a good grasp on how the year went, what mattered the most and what you want to focus on in 2021.
I would love to hear from you how you do annual review, planning, goal setting, or resolutions. Were you motivated to do it at all for 2020/2021?