Yearly Review in these strange times

Happy New Year, everybody! You might think that in these strange times where so much is unpredictable there’s not much of a point in doing a yearly review. But I’ve come to tell you that every year is suited for a yearly review!

If you think about it, life is always unpredictable. 2020 has brought us particularly unexpected circumstances, but it is a fact of life that you can never predict everything that happens. The goal of the yearly review is not to try to control everything that happens to us but rather to reflect on what we’d like in our lives and go about making it happen.

There is power to setting intentions. I don’t believe that once you set an intention, it will magically come true. I think that the benefit of setting an intention is that you clarify to yourself what you’d like to bring about in your life instead of drifting aimlessly and merely responding to events that come your way.

Once you’ve set your intentions, you can think about how to practically make those happen, and you can set goals. You can break those down into manageable steps such as habits, tasks, scheduled activities, etc. And then when life happens and unexpected things are thrown your way, you can respond to them, while also relying on those basic building blocks (habits and other small steps) that are in alignment with your priorities.

The Yearly Review

The goal of the yearly review is to give you perspective, to let you see things from a bird eye’s view. First, think about the previous year and remember what you did and what happened. Then, identify what went well and what didn’t go so well. Reflect on what happened that was unexpected, how you responded, what was adaptive about your responses and what you’d like to change.

After that, move on to the upcoming year and think about what you’d like to do that year. Set your priorities, set goals, break them down into tasks, events, habits… Basically, go from the big picture to the small aspects of daily life. Reflect on what kinds of feelings and relationships you’d like to cultivate and come up with ways you can do that. Don’t create strict plans but rather think of possible actions you can take.

Finally, it’s a great idea to create new habits that serve your priorities. Given that our circumstances are still more unpredictable than usual, don’t make your new habits too ambitious. If you want to cook every evening, set a goal of cooking 4-5 times a week. If you want to exercise 3 times a week, set a goal for twice a week. Now is not a time to be harsh on yourself (not that it is ever really a time to be harsh on yourself…). And also, if you see that you’re meeting the goals you set out for yourself, that will build your resolve as well as your confidence.

If you’d like to read more about the yearly review and the joy that comes with it, check out this blog post. It is THE BEST REVIEW of the whole year! I am so excited for it, I can’t wait!!! It’s such a shame that it only happens once a year…

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