It’s that time of year again!
Time to conduct your “Year in Review” for 2023 and consider everything you’ve accomplished and achieved over the past 12 months (both in terms of your long-term goals and your short-term objectives for the year).
How successful were you at setting and achieving goals in 2023?
Did you reach any milestone career goals or life goals?
Did you get that new job or make more money?
Did you write that book… heal that relationship… reach that fitness goal… or complete that important home renovation project?
I guarantee that if you take the time to track your progress and consider everything that happened this year, you will discover that you accomplished more than you imagined!
Today I’d like to guide you through the process of completing your year in review so you can take stock of your wins and challenges and gain the insight and motivation you need to set yourself up for a successful year in 2024.
You’ll also find my ultimate guide to goal-setting – so make sure you keep reading to the end!
What is a Year in Review?
It’s an opportunity for you to look back on the past 12 months and take stock of everything you experienced and accomplished – as well as the internal and external factors that may have prevented your goal achievement efforts from reaching the finish line – so you can do an even better job of setting and accomplishing your goals in the year ahead.
This is your chance to engage in some powerful self-reflection and get super clear on everything you want to accomplish in your life in the New Year to come – so you can hit the ground running with more power in January and achieve goals all year long!
Benefits of a Year-End Review
Here are some of the benefits of conducting a year-end review before January swings into full gear:
- It helps you gain valuable insight into your own strengths and weaknesses – so you can overcome your limiting beliefs while clarifying what you want your goal-setting journey to look like for the year ahead.
- It makes it easier for you to identify ways to improve your performance and set expectations on how to get better at achieving goals so you can create the successful and happy life you want.
- It helps you identify, set, and achieve goals in all areas of your life so you enjoy more harmony and balance.
- It makes it easier for you to set attainable goals that require you to grow without sacrificing your freedom and happiness as you work to achieve them.
Finally, doing a year-end review gives you a tool for tracking your goal-setting efforts and celebrating your accomplishments so you can dream big and achieve goals that are even more ambitious goals in the future!
How to Create Your Year-End Goal Review
There are many ways to conduct your year-end review to gain the insight you need to improve your goal-setting efforts for the year to come.
Here are some of the methods that have worked for me when evaluating my performance and success at achieving goals over the past 12 months – and setting goals for the year to come:
Step 1: Reflect on Your Year
The first step is to set aside an hour to look back on your entire year and review everything you experienced and accomplished as you worked to achieve goals this year. Then work your way through the steps below.
Review Each Month
List the past 12 months on a sheet of paper, leaving room to jot down a few notes next to each one. Then, working backward from December to January, write down any experiences or accomplishments that stick out for you, both in terms of your personal wins as well as any career goals you may have achieved.
Be sure to include all of the successes you can think of, as well as any setbacks you may have experienced as you worked on achieving goals this year.
Accomplishments vs Roadblocks
Once you have exhausted your memory of everything that happened this year, create a list of your major accomplishments (personal and professional) as well as any roadblocks or challenges you experienced.
This isn’t about blaming or beating yourself up at all (things happen, after all!) but about understanding what went right, so you can do more of it.
It’s also to help you understand what didn’t go so well so you can avoid making the same mistakes in the future and work to overcome failure in achieving goals as you keep your life moving in the right direction.
Journal Your Thoughts
Journaling is a great way to you process your thoughts when setting goals – and gain deeper insight into what you’ve experienced and what you WANT to experience when achieving goals in the future.
Be sure to write down any valuable lessons and takeaways from your achievements and challenges over the past year.
Also, take the time to write down everything you are grateful for – including whatever lessons you may have learned from the obstacles and setbacks you encountered. When you cultivate a positive, gratitude-focused mindset, you will be amazed at how much easier it becomes to stay committed to your vision and keep making progress toward your dreams.
Ask Yourself Questions
Here are some questions that will help you gain deeper insight and key takeaways that will assist you in achieving success when setting goals for the year ahead:
- What are your biggest professional accomplishments for the year? Are you doing better professionally now than you were last year?
- What are your biggest personal accomplishments for the year? Are you doing better personally now than you were last year?
- How are your relationships now compared to this time last year? What relationship improvements are you proud of making?
- How are your finances now compared to last year? Are you in a better place than you were last year?
- How is your health now compared to last year? What were your biggest health wins & challenges?
- What was your biggest triumph this year? Why are you so proud of having achieved it?
- What was your biggest challenge? What did you learn from it?
- What change did you make that had the biggest positive impact on your life?
- What was the bravest thing you did this year? What did you learn from it?
- What was the biggest mistake you made? How can you avoid repeating it in the future?
- What was the best thing that happened to you?
- What made you laugh this year?
- How well did you take care of yourself this year?
- What do you regret doing this year?
- What do you regret NOT doing?
- What did you love most about your work this year?
- What part of your work did you love the least?
- What are you most grateful for?
- What surprised you the most?
- If you could go back to this time last year, what would you tell your past self?
Once you have answered all the questions, before moving on to set personal goals for the year ahead, be sure to do a quick gratitude meditation on everything you’re thankful for so you can feel like you’re ending the year on a positive note.
Step 2: Set Personal Goals for the New Year
Once you have wrapped up your review of the year that just passed, it’s time to look ahead to the New Year in front of you – and what you are thinking about achieving in the months to come. With that in mind, here are some powerful goal-setting tips for you to consider when making your goals for the New Year:
Set Annual & Quarterly Goals
When setting goals for the New Year, look at the big picture and identify the big milestones you would like to achieve in your life and career over the next 12 months. First, consider the long-term goal or goals you want to achieve then chunk down each major goal into bite-sized pieces that can be achieved within a realistic time frame.
Create SMART Goals
Make sure to set goals that fit the definition of “SMART” goals. A SMART goal is: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Using the SMART goal definition helps ensure you focus on setting goals that you can actually achieve within the identified time frame. Also be sure to focus on achieving at least one SMART goal in every area of your life: professional, financial, personal, health, relationships, and so on.
It doesn’t matter what your specific goals are, or whether we’re talking personal goals or career goals, to ensure the success of any goal-setting endeavor, you have to take ACTION. Be sure to outline the main action steps you will need to take in January to get immediate traction and accelerate your momentum and progress toward your set goals.
Step 4: Continue to Push Forward
Lots of people create goals for themselves in the New Year but very few people actually achieve those goals, even when they desperately WANT to achieve them! In fact, studies show that a whopping 92% of people who set New Year’s resolutions for themselves fail to achieve them.
That’s why it’s so important when you set goals to chunk your big objectives down into small measurable goals that you can achieve on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis. It’s not enough just to set effective goals for the year ahead, you need to have an action plan and cultivate the kind of positive, success-focused mindset that will help you move forward even when times get tough.
Just be aware that the journey to achieve your goals doesn’t have to involve drastic changes to your life!
Instead, you have to focus on taking small and relentlessly consistent steps in the direction you want to take your life. Even when you pursue ambitiously big goals, it’s the only way you’ll ever reach the finish line.
Spend Time Wisely
Take some time to consider how you spent most of your time last year and identify ways to use your time more efficiently in the New Year so you are able to get more done with less pressure and stress. Be sure to include these strategies in your action plan for the year ahead.
People who share their goals with others such as peers, mentors, and mastermind groups are significantly more likely to achieve their goals. If you don’t already have an accountability group or partner who can help you stay motivated as you work to achieve your goals, now is a good time to get one.
Celebrate Your Progress
As you put in the effort to achieve your short-term goals in pursuit of your bigger dreams, be sure to take the time to celebrate every win!
Acknowledging your own hard work and success is what will give you the drive and sustained momentum you need to keep moving toward your specific goal or goals despite any common pitfalls you might encounter. I encourage you to build celebration into your action plan for the year ahead.
Now It’s Time to Accomplish New Goals
I know it’s a busy time of year but you will benefit greatly if you take a break from seasonal festivities and schedule time before the end of the year to acknowledge, appreciate, and celebrate everything you achieved in the past 12 months.
The insights you gain will be invaluable in helping you achieve goals in the year ahead!
If you’d like more structure and insight to help you conduct your year-end review and set realistic goals for the year ahead, be sure to download my free Goal-Setting guide.
It’s the ultimate guide to setting and achieving SMART goals for the year ahead and will help you make massive progress toward achieving your goals and creating the life you want to live!