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Evaluate Your Year Before Setting New Goals

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Why evaluate your year? You might have heard something like ”never look back, and only focus on the future,” which is true, but what if looking back helped you move forward even quicker? In this post, we will explain why you should evaluate your past year and which three things you can implement to do that.

Evaluate Your Year Before Setting New Goals | Beyond Sapiens

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Why you should evaluate your year before setting new goals?

When setting new goals, we usually jump to writing & envisioning all that we want to accomplish. But how can you do that effectively without looking back at all you’ve done up to that point? That’s why a yearly review is crucial to reflect on our current trajectory, celebrate the wins, and gather the lessons from what didn’t work out as expected.

This will give you a solid foundation on which to build what’s next for you. So as a first step, start writing down all you’ve accomplished during the previous 12 months. It’s important to give yourself credit where credit is due. This isn’t simply to boost your self-esteem but so that you can create a direct correlation from the actions that produced the best outcomes and, possibly, double down on them.

For example, suppose you were able to maintain a healthy diet during the year. In that case, you should celebrate it, understand how it positively influenced other areas of your life, and keep at it during the following year.

The importance of evaluating your year and learning from your mistakes

When you know what you succeeded in and are happy with, it is time to evaluate the things that did not go as planned. We as humans often have a “fear of failure,” which is natural as we are affected by others’ opinions and the emotions connected to failure. So it can be challenging to admit that we failed or didn’t do our best.

evaluate your year

Digging into your emotions and weaknesses by going through your biggest failures is uncomfortable but will ultimately help you improve. We must practice seeing failure as a chance to learn instead of something negative because failing provides us valuable feedback on what we need to change.

So you should evaluate your failures and things that you are not happy with because only that way you ensure that you recognize them, learn from them, and plan to avoid them in the future. This will also help you work on your relationship with failure as you actively try to see it as something helpful instead of something terrible.

So how do you evaluate your year? With solid data you can reflect on. Of course, we all have different goals, dreams, and lifestyles, so the tools you use may differ from the ones we do. If that’s the case, don’t worry; what matters is to grasp the main concept and apply it to your life.

Evaluate your year through your calendar

To start your process of going through the past year, your calendar will be your best friend because you will know where you put your time in. If you don’t use one yet, this might be the perfect time to start. We use Google Calendar, so we have a separate calendar for all the important areas of our lives. At the end of the year, we go through each of them one by one.

If you use another digital or non-digital calendar, you can go through each week manually to check the most significant events, add the data into an Excel and make a graph about them. This will give you stats on how many hours of your year you have dedicated to different things.

When you know this, you can rank the different events with how “aligned” they feel and decide in advance which events you want more of and which you want less of during the upcoming year.

evaluate your year
evaluate your year

How goals and habits affect your yearly evaluation

So, now’s the time to pull out your last year’s goal list and see how you’ve done. Did you accomplish what you envisioned? Was it too much or too little? By answering these questions, you’ll ensure you create even better goals for the following year. We have different layers of goals based on their timeframe, from 3 months up to our whole life.

Your yearly review is a good moment to check that all the layers are fully aligned to ensure you’re actively working towards achieving your grand vision. If something has changed in your life, you should update your goals to ensure your trajectory is fully aligned.

After your goals check, you can zoom in and evaluate your numeric growth, and for this to be effective, you need to have tracked something during the year. In case you haven’t, don’t worry. You can start today! For example, among the things we track, we track daily habits and our sleep.

With all this data, we can look back and see if and how much we have improved and use this data as a starting point for what’s next. What matters is that what you track is directly connected to your goals. So, for example, by tracking daily habits connected to your end goals, you can ensure you’ll have more chances of achieving them faster.

How can you leverage the things you’ve learned?

The last thing we highly recommend you do is to list all the new things you have learned and the unique experiences that were significant for your personal growth. Why? If you keep track of the things you’ve learned and how you developed both as a person and in your profession, you have a more realistic perspective of yourself and can easily recognize how to navigate through the upcoming year.

So now, at the end of the year, we will list all the knowledge we’ve acquired, to understand what I still need to continue learning, and if I need to adjust something, such as adding new challenges or exploring new sides of the acquired skill sets. 

We hope this post gave you valuable tips to create your yearly review! It might not always be easy to look back and analyze all that we did or did not accomplish. It might even cause some little regrets, but that’s ok, as you can actually use them as fuel to improve in the next 12 months and create your best year yet.

If you’re curious to learn more about us and are ready to go Beyond Sapiens, you can read more about our Business & Individual Maximization Coaching programs!

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