Nowadays, all big companies “force” their employees to do a more or less well designed kind of a yearly, biannual, or quarterly review. There are tons of information out there on how to prepare for such a review, how to conduct your team performance reviews, how (not) to use them to define compensation and on the benefits of such a practices. (And even more resources on effective governance.)
However, I did not want to write another article about something you might not even have a say in doing. I want to focus on your Personal Year Review. You could schedule an hour or two to do it or, the way I do it, just take a walk in the cold winter morning and reflect on the year past and worry about writing it all down later. Usually, such approach works well, because if you are not able to remember your goals and objectives over the course of half hour and feel like you need to reach for a pen and paper to write them down, they are probably too complicated. Now, try to remember objectively:
[STEP 1: PAST]
- Where were you last year?
- What were your goals, ambitions, objectives, targets for where you are personally?
- What were you planning on accomplishing?
- What were you planning on not accomplishing?
- What could surprise you? What could disappoint you?
- What were you aiming to overcome? What were you aiming to learn?
- How were you feeling? How did you imagine you would feel by now?
Not easy, but not that hard either. Just try to visualize where you were standing and, if you took notes, compare later what you remember and what you wrote down. Is it different? Is that difference maybe a natural bias of observation you need to be aware of about yourself?
Now, think of today:
[STEP 2: PRESENT]
- Where are you this year?
- Have you fulfilled your goals, ambitions, objectives and personal targets?
- What have you accomplished?
- What have you not accomplished?
- What surprised you? What disappointed you? What were you not expecting?
- What have you overcome? What have you learned? In what way have you changed?
- How are you feeling now?
Do your answers to this second group of questions honestly match your answers from the first group of questions?
And finally think of the future:
[STEP 3: FUTURE]
- Where will you be next year — or in the next 6 month… — (physical or mental state or location)?
- In what measurable way would you be able to see your goals materialize?
- What will you have accomplished?
- What will you ignore and let slide? (can you realistically do all that?!?)
- What is likely to surprise you? What may disappoint you?
- What do you want to overcome? What do you want or need to learn?
- How do you imagine you will be feeling?
By taking half an hour to think this through, you could make this year your best year yet, develop yourself to achieve more. Now, what about reviewing your values, life mission, and world vision? What about communicating and exposing it to the world to get recognized for your integrity?