5 Easy Steps to Complete a ‘Past Year Review’

Editor’s Note: this post is inspired by Silicon Valley angel investor Tim Ferriss’s blog post, “Forget New Year’s Resolutions and Conduct a ‘Past Year Review’ Instead.” Often, our state of mind is predicated on our surrounding influences. Look for the positive parts of 2019 that you can expand on. 

“May all your troubles last as long as your new year’s resolutions.”

– Anonymous –

Main point: reflect intentionally

Rather than setting arbitrary goals this year in hopes of a better future, try doing a past year review instead.

As you become aware of all your negative and positive activities, experiences, and people in your past year, look for patterns.

Past Year Review

Time needed: 30-60 minutes

  1. Using a notepad, create two columns: POSITIVE and NEGATIVE
  2. Go through your 2019 calendar, looking at every week.
  3. For each week, jot down any peopleevents, or commitments that triggered peak positive or negative emotions for that month. Put them in their respective columns.
  4. Once you’ve gone through the past year, look at your notepad list and ask “what 20% of each column produced the most reliable or powerful peaks?”
  5. Based on the answers, take your “positive” leaders and schedule more of them in 2020. Get them on the calendar, now!
    • Book things with friends, prepay for activities/events/commitments that work for you. It’s not real until it’s on the calendar.

6. Take your “negative leaders, put “NOT-TO-DO-LIST” at the top, and put them          somewhere you can see them each morning for the first few weeks of 2019. These are the people and activities and events that you *know* make you miserable, unhappy, or unfulfilled.

Remember: it’s not enough to remove the negative. Removal of a negative creates a void.   Replace your negative influences, events, and experiences with positive ones that will fill your days.

Main point: Shifting around your calendar to make space for positive people, events, and activities helps you eliminate barriers to achieving current and yet unrealized goals.

Additional Resources

Check out Chris Guillebeau’s “How to Conduct Your Own Annual Review” for a more comprehensive, similar review. 

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