I have a tendency to rush headlong into an annual review. Although I have benefitted from doing just one part of a review, this year I want to complete the review. This happens for one of two reasons, most times both.
An annual review takes time
Before an annual review can even take place, you need to collect all relevant materials. This collection can be a monumental task on its own if you have not been collecting pieces of data and evidence throughout the year.
An annual review may require you to assess your current standing in multiple areas. Each area requires an assessment of the data, maybe an analysis, and almost always your thoughts and reflections on the area. These all take time.
An annual review may need more than one pass. The first assessment and reflection lead to a surface assessment. Often, you may need to set aside the review for a few days and let the reflections percolate in your mind. The percolation of thoughts allows you to make connections between several areas. These connections may lead to significant changes in the direction of your goals. So, percolate away.
An annual review may unleash unwanted emotions
During your annual review you may remember hurts, regrets, and emotional strains. Such emotions could lead to a bit of a depression. So, some mental preparation on your part is needed before the review.
Remember, emotions are part of a personal annual review. So, allow yourself to feel the emotions at first. Then, forgive yourself or any person involved in negative and emotionally draining memories. And, if possible, forget and move on.
What you can do to smooth your progress through a review
First, start early. Start in November if possible and work on the review daily.
Make some relatively detailed plans of where you will source data and for your reflections. Spend time collecting the relevant data before reflecting on the data. When you do start a review, you will not want to stop to hunt down general information.
Remember, you will feel stressed while doing the review. So, relax and breathe. The annual review is meant to help you improve on yourself, not beat up on you.
Get support. Ask friends or family members to help you to check-in. But, give them guidelines on how you want the feedback.
So, try out one or more of the tips here and determine how they helped you to smooth your progress.