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How To Evaluate the Old Year, Prep For The New + Resources!

A time to evaluate and reflect


“How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”

Those words by the often wise Dr. Suess express many of our sentiments perfectly. Days turn into weeks which turn into months and then here we are in December.

That is why it is so important to take some time to reflect and prepare. To cherish and bask in moments. So here are some tips to evaluate the year and prepare for the incoming one…

Set Aside Special Time To Think and Feel the Feels

Maybe you love planning, maybe not so much. But, let’s make it as pleasurable as possible. Light your favorite candle. Turn on your favorite seasonal music. Drink your favorite warm beverage and sink into a cozy place.

Write. Reflect. Love.

This is your time to evaluate your current year and develop dreams for the upcoming one. It is a unique experience that only you can create. Mark a time on your calendar just for you. Think about the things you have accomplished the blessings you received.

Yes, you may reflect also on the things that could have gone better. But, then let those go and decide how you will make the needed changes. You want to leave your yearly review time with a feeling of gratitude and empowerment, not discouragement.

Here are some tips for your end of year evaluation…

  • Write by hand to really let your thoughts flow
  • Consider all the various areas of your life (family, work, finances, health, friendships, personal development, etc.)
  • Mind map it or create a visual
  • Ask yourself questions about what worked, what didn’t, and what you learned

Develop Your New Game Plan

By starting with your reflection time, your game plan creation becomes much easier. You begin to see how you can make the upcoming year better. How you use all the time, resources, and everything at your disposal to each one’s maximum potential.

Develop 10–12 top goals for the upcoming year based on YOUR values, not someone else’s. There is not much less motivating than trying to achieve things that aren’t really important to you.

Whether you use a physical planner, a digital one, or both like I do break those goals down into smaller portions. I like to set goals by quarter. If it feels too overwhelming to plan your whole year this way, just focus on 3–6 months. This can be more powerful because our goals often change over time. This gives you more focus and flexibility.

To Release The Old and Allow The New

Get rid of anything that is no longer serving you. This could mean getting rid of physical clutter in your house or letting go of unforgiveness in your heart. It could even mean spending less time with certain people who drain all your energy.

Make space and create ways for something new to be born.

The serenity prayer is appropriate here.

Hug Your Chihuahua

Ok, this tip sounds a bit unusual and out of place. Maybe you do not even have a Chihuahua, but let’s just stop and take a deep breath. The end of the year and beginning of a new year can add a ton of pressure. And with the already stressful holiday season and stressful financial season, it can all be too much. It is a great time of joy too. My favorite time of year.

But let’s keep it in perspective.

We do not have to figure everything out for the whole upcoming year all at once. Break your goals down into smaller, manageable portions and don’t forget to give yourself some grace. Hug someone or something you love…sweetly. For longer than usual. Take everything in.

Step by step day by day. Every moment counts.

I promised you resources so…

Resources To Achieve Your Goals and Organize Your Year

Trello

I’m obsessed with trello. It is free, it’s amazing, and it organizes my life. I use it for editorial calendars for my own sites and clients. I use it to track health and personal goals. I use it for my quarterly goals and my life dreams. Check it out it’s free. And if you struggle to get started be sure to watch some videos on YouTube and visit the Trello Inspiration page.

Slack

I am a part of a few different teams on Slack. If you are setting goals with a team, I highly recommend it. It helps everyone connect and see where projects stand without all the back and forth emails. Remote teams can come together to share ideas in real time wherever they are in the world. Visit the Slack blog on Medium for inspiration.

ThinkUp App

This is a new one to me but I’m enjoying it. It is for affirmations but works if you would rather call them “goals” too. Whatever you want to achieve you can record those statements in your own voice. The app then sets your recordings to music. You can play the recordings in the morning, throughout the day if you get a chance, and before bed. You can set a timer if you want the recordings to stop automatically.

There is something powerful about hearing your goals repeated back to you in your own voice.

Bonus: A physical planner. I personally adore the Happy Planner, but there are other great ones out there. Leave me a comment with your favorite. And any end of the year/beginning of a new year tips you have.

Be sure to give this post a clap and share it if you found it helpful and have a happy, productive, and blessed new year!

Want to stalk me around the web? I’m down with that. You can follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn for more Content Marketing, Online Business, and Productivity Tips. Or over at Forbes where I’m a contributor here. If you find yourself in need of a Business to Millennial writer, I’ve got you here.

Originally published at medium.com

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