Review Your Year: How to Choose Your Next Goals

Many people wouldn’t leave on a week-long journey without an itinerary. Yet we launch into a whole year of life without a plan. Review your year to see how far you’ve come, then set your goals for next year

Year in review

Write down how you’ve done in the following areas, in no particular order. This is a form of gratitude journalling, except that you’re doing it for the whole year and not just for one day.

The following are samples for you to start with, but feel free to use your own words and write as much as you want. 

1. Career

“Stayed in the same work for 8 years, and am still enjoying it and working harder than ever before. This is quite an accomplishment for me since I usually get bored and move on after 3 years or so.”

2. Family

“Went on vacation at a beach resort with the whole family. It was fun and allowed us to create some happy memories for keeping.”

3. Finances

“Got my cashflow under better control by implementing a cash only weekly budget. This made a tremendous impact on my bank balance. Next I need to learn to invest my savings wisely.”

4. Friends

“Managed to remember friends’ birthdays. Using Google calendar makes this easy for me and makes them feel good.”

5. Health

“Jogged everyday for a period of a few months as a shortcut to achieving 10,000 steps a day. Still 6kg away from my target weight though, so this is one area I need to work on next year.”

6. Mental

Read a book a week most of the year, except for a couple of months when I tried to plough through an academic text.”

7. Spiritual

“At peace with the world largely, but still not able to let go of expectations as I would like to be. Another area to work on next year.”

Review your year to choose 3 focus areas

Your review of your year helps to identify areas that you’re pleased with. It also highlights areas that you want to work on a bit more.

Based on the above, the 3 areas to focus on would be finances, health, and spiritual. Now that you’ve chosen what to work on, continue to set SMART goals for each.

If you’re serious about achieving your goals, try this Passion Planner. The first time I used it, I had the most productive year up to that point. I’ve continued the habit of serious goal planning every year. 

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4 replies on “Review Your Year: How to Choose Your Next Goals”

Hey Tamsin, that was a great article on getting important stuff done. I’m glad I signed up to your website. I especially like the last point about reviewing beliefs and values. So often we keep doing the same things year after year not realising that our values have changed and perhaps we need to adjust our goals and actions accordingly. I also agree that a good start is to decide what’s not important, to make room for what is.

I agree that ranking on a scale of 1 to 10 is very effective, and didn’t mean to imply that it was too structured. Guess that’s just my excuse for being lazy! Ha ha.

The other difference I noticed is that you recommend focusing on 5 areas, whereas I find that 3 focuses at a time work best for me, as I get distracted with anything more than 3. Maybe I need some coaching from you to get more done in my life!

I know what you mean about too much structure Daphne, but this is not so much to over-structure things (although I totally get your point), but rather give you a way to quickly identify, and then focus on, the different areas that make up your life that are important to you, and a baseline to work from. Often people are so rushed in their lives, dealing with so many of other people’s demands, that they never give themselves a chance to stand back and focus on what really matters to them. This can help a lot in that area too as, once they’ve identified what’s really important to them, it becomes much easier to say no to things that are not!

Thanks for your kind comments too Daphne. I’m sure it’s lovely to see new subscribers everyday and that bit by bit they’ll all want to comment on your valuable posts as I do!

Thanks again.


Nudgeme, your encouragement is always deeply appreciated. Not to mention your great advice. I’ve heard about the Wheel idea before but never tried it. And the rating of each area of life is an excellent way to make us think about how well we’re really doing. I did wonder whether to suggest it in my post as I know some people function better with such a structure. Decided against it in the end because I’m personally trying to move away from too much structure and become more easy-going. Still, I’m glad you suggested it because it does work, especially for keeping track of progress as you pointed out.

And thanks for the vote of confidence on the blog. It’s nice to see more subscribers everyday, and I’m hoping more of these wonderful people will drop a line to say hi as you do. Always makes my day to hear from you Tamsin, so thanks again!

Great post Daphne and thank you for sharing your thoughts and goals for the coming year with us!

You are right, this is such a good way to kick off a new year. I’d add one other point that I do a lot of in my coaching sessions. Once you’ve identified the different areas of your life, you can then turn that into what’s known as a “Wheel of Life”. Simply draw a circle and segment it into your different areas. Then think about where you are on your satisfaction/contentment level with each, scoring each segment 1-10 – 1 being far from content and 10 being nothing could be better. Like you say, then focus on the lower level segments to begin with and ask yourself what it would take for you to go from a 3 to a 4 for example, and what immediate steps could you take. This is a great way to chart your progress throughout the year and help motivate you to stay on track.

Methinks your goal no. 3 will be well on its way soon Daphne as your blog is going from strength to strength!

All the best for now


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