The problem in conducting the review: Where to start
It is 72 days to the New Year and I am starting to review the current year, 2019. I thought I would review my goals first. The problem is that I don’t have my goals in one place. My current October journal does not contain my goals but I have them in some of the older journals for the year.
So I ransacked my apartment and ended up pulling out 14 notebooks and binders to review. I also need to review my email inboxes. Then I realized that I will get too overwhelmed with the review because it was just too many things to go through. I do not know where to start.
The solution: meaningful categories
What I need are categories to review. As I go over my journals, papers and things related to my life, I will put the pieces on information into different categories. Then I will do my review by category.
The categories have to be meaningful to me as an individual. Your categories will be different from mine.
Categories for my review
I came up with 15 categories or buckets to put my review information in:
- My goals and goal system. This is obvious as I had to hunt down my goals.
- Obstacles to achieving my goals. Most times I do not think ahead to challenges that I will meet. Now I get to look at those challenges and record them. Each goal would have had its own challenges.
- Relationships. We are empty without relationships. The meaningful ones guide and support us.
- Finances. I need to get my debt down and learn how to use my money properly.
- Self-care. I have neglected myself and need to build habits to be compassionate towards myself and take care of my physical body.
- Health and beauty. I am overweight and huff and puff as I climb the four-storey building where I work. I am also not taking vitamins and do not cook much. Geez…this category will be really painful.
- Work. I have been struggling with how to work with some of the people in my department…in fact, most of the academic staff. I also became a coordinator of a programme with many more responsibilities.
- Environment. Your environment sets you up for success. It also dictates your mood.
- Career development. As with any professional, I have to upgrade myself to be promoted. I have to decide here what I really need to do in the upcoming year.
- Task and Record management. New responsibilities and roles have thrown me for a loop. My primitive task and record management is no longer working for me. I also have to manage several people in each role. It is exhausting.
- Books and courses bought and completed. I read a lot and am always buying books and new courses. My concern now is how many am I actually completing and implementing as I read mainly non-fiction books. I would also like to see which fiction books I read and can give away.
- Business. I have thought about having a business but have not made much headway here. I still need to review this though.
- New situations that arose during the year. Very often we plan for one set of goals but situations arise that cause us to stop to deal with them. If the situations require much energy and had an emotional strain then it is worth noting what they were and how to deal with them so that they do not set us off track with our main priorities.
- Losses, pains, struggles and regrets. We make decisions on a daily basis. Some work for us, some work against us leading to losses, pains, struggles and often, regrets.
- Accomplishments and celebrations. I rarely take stock of the things I accomplish. I need to celebrate small and big wins.
How to make this blog work for you
If you are doing a review of your year, think of categories or aspects of your life that you would like to review. If the categories are meaningful to you, you will want to understand your current status, the changes that you underwent over the past year, and where you would like to make improvements whether big or small. So make a record of the categories useful to you.