Yes, I know, it is the first week of 2017 and already, you’ve seen a lot of #NewYearsResolutions in your social media feed. Your friends are planning for the year ahead. They’re promising that 2017 is going to be their #bestyearever!

For us to move on to the next year, however, it’s also important to review the past year. If you haven’t done this yet, I encourage you to do it. And please put a note on your calendar for the last 2 weeks December 2017 for you to review 2017.

Why you need to review the past year

image credit: Jack via Flickr

Celebrate wins.

Did you achieve any of the goals you set for the year? If you did, you definitely need to celebrate that! Sometimes we are too caught up in going through our list of goals that we forget to celebrate.

If you set a reward for yourself for achieving your goals–whether buying a new gadget, going on a vacation, or treating yourself to a massage or a buffet restaurant, then by all means go get them. You deserve it!


Whether you achieved your goals or you failed, it’s important to learn the lessons there.

What factors helped you achieve your goals? Who are the people who helped you achieve them? And if you would do it all over again, would you do it any differently?

Secondly, if you did not achieve your goals, then a post-mortem is needed. This will help prevent you from wallowing in your missed goals, and will help you avoid the pitfalls in the future.

Different ways to review your year.

You could do a month-by-month, or a quarterly report of what happened in the year. For 2015, I did a quarterly review. You can read about that here:

One of my favorite authors does an annual review for himself and for his readers. It contains a list of what he did in the past year, including a list of the projects he worked on and the problems he encountered along the way. Read his year in review here:

This approach to reviewing your year could be time-consuming because it can get very detailed. It would also be better to keep track of your performance in achieving your goals monthly or quarterly because if you rely on your memory, you might miss a lot of things.

You could also do a review of each individual project you did in the past year. And you could also dive in deep by analyzing how you performed in each project area.

Questions to Ask:

No matter what kind of review process you do, it’s important to ask three simple question:

  • What went well?
  • What did not go well?
  • What changes do you need to implement?

Asking these questions will help you identify action items that will help you move into the New Year with a renewed sense of purpose. Your answers to these questions will help you maximize your strengths, minimize weaknesses, and help you be more aware of the way you work toward achieving your goals.

Additional Blog posts and podcasts to help you review your year:

Arriane Serafico’s Purposeful Creative. Go ahead and visit episodes 2 and 3 of the Purposeful Creative. The podcast host offers a downloadable resource that will help you identify the wins and the misses of the past year. Download the episodes here: &

Pat Flynn’s Annual Review at Pat Flynn provides an overview of how his year went. He lists down his income, (which is impressive!) as well as the projects he loved working on. But for starters, this could look intimidating. But it’s still inspiring! Read it here:

There’s still time to review your year. Don’t get pressured by anyone on Social Media. What matters is you learn the lessons from your life in the past year and use these lessons to live a better life in the next year.

Resources to Help You Review and Evaluate Your Year

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