My six-part annual review practice
I hope this message finds you all well and enjoying a peaceful break after the holiday madness. I know I'm still recovering from my annual food coma - anyone else? But seriously, I hope you're all taking some time to relax and recharge before the new year.
I'm a big believer in the power of reflection, self-improvement, and self-actualization. That's why at the end of each year, I like to take some time to reflect on the past year and set intentions for the new one. And since I know many of you are also looking for ways to grow and better yourselves, I wanted to share a little about my annual journalling process in this newsletter.
I first started annual journalling in 2016 by answering these five questions:
- What was your biggest failure(s) of the year and why do you consider it a failure?
- What was your biggest missed opportunity of the year and why did you miss it?
- What was something you deeply regretted and why?
- What was your best achievement and why?
- Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
My annual journal has now developed into a six-part exercise, which I usually complete across a few days. It starts by systematically reviewing the past year and then reviewing learnings, making a life assessment, setting intentions, planning for the next year, and performing a freehand writing exercise. You can find the full template for my annual journal in Notion here.
Please note, the idea is not to answer every question in detail. Instead, I recommend you view my template as an á la carte menu designed to probe you to uncover any loose threads, develop lost ideas, reconnect with yourself, and gain deeper self-awareness and direction. If this feels unnecessary or like a waste of time, I'd recommend at least completing the five questions I noted above! I'm happy to say 2022 was the best year of my life, as were many of the preceding years. I'm confident that my annual journalling practice has played a role, and I truly hope you'll give it a shot!
Feel free to share any feedback with me on email or Twitter DM.