In the final few days of 2017, I spent a good amount of time looking back at 2017 as a whole and looking ahead to my hopes and goals for 2018 (you can see the post here). I have done this for the past few years and I really enjoy it and have found it to be extremely beneficial.
In other areas of our lives, doing an evaluation is common. Many companies do annual or even quarterly evaluations with their employees. This is a great time to look at our performance as a whole. What is going well? What could be improved? Yet it’s not very common for us to take a step back and review our life as a whole.
I think doing a review of 2017 and setting goals for 2018 is crucial to being intentional in life. Here are 5 reasons why:
1. It Helps To Look At The Big Picture
It’s really easy to be so focused on completing your daily tasks and responsibilities that we lose sight of the big picture. Especially when we’re in survivor mode during the busy parts of life. Doing a yearly review of your life will help you to see trends and themes that happened over a long period of time. For me, I saw how much time I wasted on things that didn’t bring me joy, so now I can take steps to improve that.
2. It Shows You The Lessons You Learned
When I sat down to do my 2017 review, I didn’t immediately think of all that I had learned during the year. As I sat down and thought about the year as a whole though, there were a lot of things that surfaced that were a significant part of my growth and increased self-awareness. Now I can be grateful for those lessons and have a better understanding of what this year meant for me.
3. It Reminds You Of The Blessings In Your Life
Like I said in my review, 2017 was a challenging year for me internally. I think it could have been easy to write off 2017, but looking at my life, I have a ton to be thankful for. Life is often a beautiful blend of difficult and wonderful, and that was true for me in 2017. Reviewing my year reminded me of the countless blessings I have in my life, and why it’s important to identify them.
4. It Helps You Set Goals For The Next Year
One of my favorite parts about doing a year in review is identifying the things I wish I had done better in the previous year, and then setting specific goals to improve in those areas. As a person I always want to be improving, especially at my current age where I am still learning how to be an “adult”. An example in my life is I didn’t use my free time well for most of 2017, so in 2018 I want to read and create more. Don’t forget to check in on your goals periodically in 2018 to see how you’re doing and make changes if needed.
5. It Helps You To Find Out What You Need To Do More and Less Of
This is similar to #4, but I think it’s important to note both. One of my favorite parts of my own 2017 review was identifying what I need to do more and less of in 2018. What habits do you want to put into place to reach your goals? What kept you from growing in 2017? For me, I want to connect more with others and ask better questions, and I want to complain less.
I think to grow it’s important to be self-aware, and I have found that doing a review and evaluation of my year is vital for me to see my life more clearly. You don’t have to follow a specific format, but I do encourage you to look at the positives and negatives from the past year, and set goals for the next year to help you to move towards who you want to be. Becoming who you are is a continuous process, and I want to see it all.