I’ve just spent the last few weeks immersed in my year-end review and planning for this year.
I took it to a whole new level this year, actually hiring a meeting room in central London for a FULL day.
I wanted to make it feel significant, symbolic and focused. My partner was kind enough to give up a day of his holidays to join me (even though we didn’t realise most of our favourite coffee shops were closed at that time) and it became an immersion of all things professional and personal.
There was a flip chart, post-it notes, marker pens, and (eventually) coffee when we tracked it down.
What’s been most helpful though is realising that while days out like that are incredibly valuable to really focus your attention on things that usually fade very quickly into the background once the new year (or new ‘anything’) starts, is that the synthesis actually starts to happen after the review.
Our full day out planning was now two weeks ago and still I’m having all these ‘ahaaa’ moments.
Now that I’m so clear on what my lessons are from last year and what my priorities are (both personally and professionally) it’s already making it so much easier to know what to bring my attention to each day.
Plus, the added bonus is that with any little tiffs between my partner and I we’re quickly rectifying them by reminding each other things like “hey, is this a priority?” or, “hey, we committed to doing X not this!”. It’s kinda fun to spring mid argument, nope we’re not doing it this way anymore. ?
On a more serious note though, it’s the review itself that has brought the most clarity to now my year-ahead. I’m a planner. I LOVE it! Which means there’s always been an element of planning, goal-setting, restructuring, dreaming big, shuffling things around, etc, in my life.
I used to set goals according to what felt like the ‘next big thing’ or what I ‘should’ do next. Like, I’ve been in a job now for a few years, maybe it’s time to do post-grad studies? Or, I’ve been in my role for a little while now, maybe it’s time for a promotion or a new job?
However, there’s two big changes I’ve made over the past few years that have made all the difference. That I get to wake up feeling excited each day about what’s ahead, like I have purpose, and that I get to be completely myself.
- Is actually carving out space for reviewing the year. I’ve done this now in a more structured way for three years. This year being the most ‘structured’. At the very least ask yourself: What went well? What didn’t go well? And, what am I most proud of?
- Is consistently asking myself how do I want to feel? And getting clear on those priorities and intentions early on. I’ve been inspired by Danielle La Porte’s Desire Map planning process here and embed a lot of that into my own planning now.
If you’re wanting this year to be different and to really feel incredible, I highly recommend carving out some space for this. It’s never too late!
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