Start the New Year out right with one of these tools (Day 3)

Make the most of the year ahead by taking time to reflect on the past year.

This is the third in a series of posts with different ideas of how to set your coming year up for success. Here are some thoughts about reviewing the old year to make the most of its lessons and to celebrate your accomplishments.

Reflecting on the year behind

I think this is one of the most important aspects of any transition planning for the new year. In fact, even if you don’t set goals for the coming year, I would still sit down and reflect on the year behind. To do this, first just write down a list of all that happened over the year to jog your memory. What did you do, what happened at work, what trips did you take, who did you have lunch with that you haven’t seen in awhile, what plays did you see, did you visit family, did friends visit you? Big and small, good and bad, just write what happened. Going back through your calendar will probably help with this.

Then write a list of all that you accomplished that you are proud of.

Then write a list of things that didn’t go so well. For each item, indicate what you learned from it.

This reflection is 2/3 of the questions that Marie Forleo says we should ask ourselves; and she also includes a list of what we are ready to let go of for the coming year. Tim Ferriss talks about a similar reflection, though he has used this to replace the forward-looking goal setting as well. He recommends taking your list of all that happened in the year and splitting it into things that are particularly noteworthily positive, and then another list of what was negative. And this isn’t just your accomplishments, but who did you enjoy meeting for lunch, etc. He calls these “peak positive or negative emotions.” Then, look at the activities that created the most peaks, and schedule them into your calendar immediately. And actively do not schedule/do not do what you have in the negative column in the coming year.

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