As of the posting of this blog post there are a little fewer than four weeks left in the month. This is a great time of the year to begin thinking about how you will prepare for next year.
To think about next year, however, you must first start with reviewing this year.
So in this blog post I will share with you the process I am using to review this year in order to prepare for next year.
What I do is a three step process. It begins with an assessment phase, which is strengthened by recalibrating based on that assessment, then I make sure my goals for the year kept my life in balance.
Assess and Compare
Gather the goals you set for last year and those you set for this year.
Since your goals can change each year, you are not looking to compare specific goals line by line.
Instead, with this review process, you are looking for ways to enhance your goal setting and goal completion strategy.
You are asking yourself questions such as:
“What worked well?
“What did not work well?”,
“Why didn’t that work well?”
“Where did I focus my goals? Were they all in the same category or did they vary?”
“Were my goals specific?”
“Did I set a due date for my goals?”
“What life forces got in the way of me completing my goals and what can I do differently next year if that issue happens again?”
One way to help you answer some of the above questions is to assess whether or not you accomplished more goals this year than you did the prior year.
Now please note, not completing as many goals this year as last year does not mean you were not successful. Your goals may have been more demanding than previous goals or you could have had a life event that set you back.
Doing this assessment will help you get a clearer picture regarding such matters.
Last year and this year I have used the LifeScore Assessment Tool by Michael Hyatt to help me get clarity on how my year went. The tool also helps with the review processes that follow. I highly recommend that you give the tool a whirl.
Recalibrate or Start Fresh
What if you did not set goals last year or this year? That’s easy. Start fresh. Make it a priority to sit down and set goals now to prepare for next year.
Unlike what I shared above, prior to last year, I did not have a previous year to use as a comparison. And the goals I did have were all in my head. Trust me, that is not a good goal setting strategy.
Since I didn’t have goals written out, I started fresh.
It was not until a year ago that I sat down to write (type) out my goals. I did not have anything to compare those goals to, but I did sit down and ask myself the very questions listed above.
Those questions allowed me to recalibrate and prepare for the goals that I set for this year.
That recalibration included understanding why each goal was important. Previously I had not given the why much thought. Understanding my why helped keep, or remove, goals from my list.
As part of the recalibration exercise, I also broke down each goal into manageable steps and gave each goal a due date.
I was not certain of every step I needed, but the first step got the process rolling. In doing this I followed the the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase. ”
Recalibration is also useful when you do not accomplish all of your goals. Assess why you did not accomplish the goal, then make appropriate changes when setting next year’s goals.
Check if You are Using the Wheel of Life
Before we discuss how you can use the wheel of life in your review, let’s first make sure you know what the wheel of life is.
Essentially it is a tool to help you create more balance in your life. Depending on where you find the wheel of life, it will contain between eight to ten areas of life. They include the following:
- Business, career and studies
- Finances and wealth
- Health and fitness
- Social life and friends
- Recreation and Fun
- Personal Growth
Last year when I did my assessment for the year I realized that my goals were out of balance. About 95 percent of my goals were related to my career and my relationships and other areas of my life were not getting as much attention as they should. The positive was that I did give focus to my health. That resulted in me losing 75 pounds.
When you do your review of your goals, be certain that you pay attention to where you are putting your attention. Are your goals in balance? What areas of your life need more attention? Doing this type of review will answer those questions for you.
How to Review This Year to Prepare for Next Year
As a recap, be sure your review for this year in preparation for next year assesses your previous goals, is recalibrated where necessary, and that your review checks that you were in balance by utilizing the wheel of life. If you have never set goals before start fresh by starting today.