In addition to setting intentional goals, one of the best ways to gear up for a new calendar year is to give yourself a year-end review. This allows you to evaluate what worked and what didn't, and helps you to have a better outlook for the year to come. By reviewing the current year, you can determine where you need to go moving forward and what changes or improvements need to be made. This can also be done for your life and for your business, and is a great way to make sure your goals align with your plans. I find that by doing this, I have a clearer direction and am set up for more success in the new year.
Assess your goals
Even though I think goal setting is something that should be done on its own and not something to fly through as part of your year end assessment, they are very closely related. Your goals are probably based on things that happened the year before and what happened this year might influence your goals moving forward. You should be sure to take the time to go through your goals separately and set intentional goals for the year to come, but you can also use the assessment of your goals to determine how successful you were this year too.
Crunch the numbers
A big part of your year end review should be making sure that all of your finances are in order and that you know where you came out for the year. Look at your income versus expenses for the year and break it down by category if you can. Know where the majority of your income came from, and where the majority of your expenses went. You can also look at your finances compared to your budget and see how things matched up. This way you know if there are areas you should cut back on or if there are income sources you could eliminate if they are not bringing in enough money to make it worth it.
This is the nitty gritty of your review. This is when you sit down to really think about what worked, why it worked, and how it can be applied to other areas for improvement. To do this, I will make a list of all the positive things about this year. Think about all of your wins, big and small, and create a master list of those things. Once I have it all down on paper, I go back through each thing and look for patterns in the success. I try to determine why these things worked for me and what the key pieces were for making them work. Then I determine how I can implement those key pieces into other areas of my life and business to generate more success and productivity.
What didn't work?
On the opposite side of evaluating your wins is determining what didn't work too. It is important to understand your mistakes and why they happened so that you don't repeat them again. This is also a great way to eliminate anything that isn't working anymore. In the middle of this year, I went through a re-brand, where I did a smaller version of this and evaluated my brand specifically to determine what worked and what didn't. That allowed me to narrow my focus and get rid of things that I was spending time on that weren't moving me forward towards my goals. To be honest, this might be my favorite part of a review. This is where you can really get intentional about what you are doing and why you are doing it. By determining what things didn't work for you this year, you can have a clearer direction going forward of what you need to be doing instead.
I hope this year end assessment format helps you in doing your own review. The idea is not to do it a certain way, but to truly understand what worked and what didn't so that you can move forward with more intention and productivity. Regardless of how you assess your year, the important thing is to take time to think through things so you can move forward with momentum into the next year.
Do you do a year end review for your business or life? How do you do it?
PS: If you liked this post, you might also like Finding Balance.