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End of Year Review Process

As a leader, you need regular times for review and reflection to ensure you stay on top of your goals and priorities. An end of year review process helps.

I love this time of year. It’s Christmas, of course. A chance to celebrate. An opportunity to spend valuable time with family and friends. But it’s also an opportunity for me to slow down. I take the time to reflect on the past year and look forward to the new one. An end of year review process allows time for an in-depth, strategic reflection on where I’ve come from in the past year and to look forward to where I am going with new annual goals. I use my Life Plan and the Quarterly Preview in Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner as the template for my end of year review process.

My End of Year Review Process

My end of year review process is a “deep dive” into my Life Plan, so I need a whole day to do it. I surround the process in prayer. I spend time I pray for those who are named in my Life Plan as important in my life – God, my wife, my parents, those for whom I am responsible in ministry and my friends. I pray about anyone who might need to be added to that list and ask God if there is anything I should change about how I want to be remembered by these important people.

My Priorities

I then review my Life Accounts – the different areas of my life where I set priorities. Do I need to add any Life Accounts? Or are there any that should be deleted because they are no longer relevant? I ask God about whether his priorities for my life have changed and if I need to rearrange my Life Plan to reflect that.

My Action Plans

I then think and pray through my action plans for each of these Life Accounts. My Action Plans may need updating. As I think about the Envisioned Future for each Life Account, I ask myself if it still resonates with me, or does it need to be expressed differently? Has God given me a different vision for that area of my life? Do I need to tighten the purpose statement for any Life Account?

My Biggest Wins

The next thing I do in my end of year review process is to think about the Current Realities in my Life Accounts and to review my annual goals for the past year. I take the time to celebrate my biggest wins from the previous year. If I have accomplished any of my annual goals in the past twelve months, I record it and thank God for his help in achieving them.

After Action Review

I then move on to review my progress on all of my annual goals. I try to estimate how far I have got to achieving them. This helps me to identify where I can improve. As part of this, I think about what worked and what didn’t in trying to achieve my annual goals. This assists in achieving success: I can try to replicate what’s worked and can be dropped or stopped.

Next, KISS!

Michael Hyatt has developed the KISS system as part of his end of year review process. Looking at my annual goals for the past year and the degree of success in achieving them, I reflect on the following questions:

  • What will you KEEP doing?
  • What will you IMPROVE?
  • What will you START doing?
  • What will you STOP doing?

This part of the end of year review process helps to cement my opportunities for success in the upcoming quarter.

Annual Goal Preview

Having got this far in the process I now move on to the annual goals I want to set myself for the coming year. Having reviewed this year’s goals, there may be some I want to revise, remove or replace. There will probably be new ones I want to commit to. Once I have committed to my annual goals, I write them into the list in my new Full Focus Planner. I then choose two or three of them to focus on in the next quarter. I also complete a goal template for each goal. This helps to imprint each one in my memory, which helps towards achieving them.

Calendar Preview

Then I schedule the “big rocks” – major events, deadlines, projects and rejuvenation time (such as holidays or reviews) – for the year. I add these to the Monthly Calendar pages in the Full Focus Planner for the first three months of the year and the remainder in the Rolling Quarters pages. This helps to see where there are busy periods and to schedule margin in my schedule.

Next, I carry out a review of my Ideal Week. Once I am happy that I my ideal weekly schedule covers my main priorities and focus, then I write them into the corresponding pages. Then I do the same for my Daily Rituals.

An Invaluable Tool

I have found my end of year review process an invaluable part of proactive self-management in the past few years. If you think an end of year review process might help you, then you why not plan it into your holiday time now. I am sure you will find an end of year review process an important time of review and reflection.

Photo by Jan Kahánek on Unsplash

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