The 20 minute annual review

2017 is coming to a close and 2018 is lurking on the horizon, full of promise, new ideas and potential. The new year is a brilliant time to get stuck into some strategic planning, masterminding and reassessing. Before you move the goal posts, it’s time to acknowledge the goals you kicked this year. Constant goal post shifting and under appreciating your achievements is a very demotivating and draining way to work long term. We rob ourselves of some magical bio-feedback designed to keep us energised and can get trapped into a treadmill mindset. So before you launch into the new year it’s super important to dedicate a little breathing space to take stock.

This simple 20 minute annual review is your opportunity to break the year down and brainstorm Major Goals Kicked, Smaller Achievements and Lessons learned. For my fellow list lovers, you can sort this further into Creative, Business and Personal categories so you can get the full, holistic picture of your creative life. Essentially this is an annual report for yourself (although feel free to share with stakeholders, which may expand to customers, official investors or be as simple as those people who supported you throughout the year).

So before you gear up for the new year carve out some dedicated time to take stock of the year that has been. By prefacing your bigger and better 2018 goals and plans for growing and developing with a healthy dose of self reflection and self congratulation you’ll actually launch into the new year with a positive mindset and a wave of fresh energy. So kick back with a cuppa and do some reflecting, it’s time to give yourself props for a year well done.

Major Goals Kicked

Hopefully you started out the year with an action plan for what goals you wanted to smash out of the park in 2017. Even if you didn’t formalize (which I reaaaaalllly recommend you do for next year so check out my free workbook for your 2018 goal setting and this blog), chances are you floated some big ideas and dreams with friends, colleagues and loved ones somewhere around this time last year. Now is the time to make note of what those BIG achievements were and high five yourself in a major way. Hells even share it out on social media, stick it on your fridge, email it to your list. You worked hard for what you’ve done, celebrate it and be proud.

Smaller Achievements (‘cause they all add up)

It’s easy to fob off the smaller achievements you managed as unimportant or worth less than your bigger achievements, but it’s in the smaller day to day that much of the magic happens. Take some time to acknowledge the, sometimes less sexy, baby steps that moved you closer to your dream destination.

Learning Curves

This is a two fold process. On one hand it’s taking note of the things you actively learnt in a formal way, all the skills you developed and made an effort to acquire. It’s reflecting back on where you were at January 1 with your knowledge and skills base and noticing how far you’ve come. It’s also about the stuff that went wrong and what that taught you as an artist, business owner, creator and human being. It’s that old adage, when you lose don’t lose the lesson. As Bill Gates said, “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” Chances are all the things that went off the rails, not as planned or straight out bombed, handed you some amazing learning curves.