If you’re anything like me, you’re probably wondering . . . how in the world it can already be December.
And, yet . . . here we are.
December is a month filled with celebration and making things merry-and-bright, sure. But for me, it’s also a month to reflect and take stock of the year that’s ending. Each December, I set aside some time to allow myself to be . . . introspective . . . about the year that’s about to wrap up. I like reflecting back so I can consider my options for the year ahead.
If you’ve been following along here for a while, you know that I take my own “personal introspection” pretty seriously. (I can’t help myself. I’m an enneagram 4w5 . . . and we’re Like That.) Part of my “process” at the end of the year is doing my own little “annual review.” I pull out all the stops to review and reflect on the year that is winding down. I look over my planner and my journals. I skim through my blog posts. I sort through my photos. I survey my Goodreads and Ravelry and Instagram sites. I look back at any goals or intentions I set for myself at the beginning of the year. Basically, I collect and review my personal “data” for the year. I compile my annual highlights – and lowlights. And I use this info to remember, review, and figure out where I might want to go . . . next year.
I know that some of you do this (or something like it) already.
And I know that a lot of you can’t even imagine doing something like this!
I’m here . . . to advocate for doing some kind of “annual review;” to just encourage you to spend a little time this month looking back over your year before the new year begins. You don’t have to make a Big Deal about this at all. (Unless you, too, are a 4w5 and plagued with personal introspection.) Just try a quick little review. Y’know . . . something beyond the Spotify Wrapped nonsense. (See my Note about that below.)
What do you do to review your year? Well, first figure out what kind of “data” you might have on hand to review. Do you keep a calendar you can look back at? A journal, maybe? If you’re a blogger, you can look over your year easily by skimming your posts. Maybe scan through the photo roll on your phone. And if you made a list of intentions or goals at the beginnning of the year, you can see how your actions compare to your plans. Seek out your highlights. Identify your disappointments. Remind yourself of things that you wanted to do/try . . . or maybe that you forgot about. Or didn’t have time for. Figure out what you want to let go of in the new year.
By doing a little review like this, I guarantee you’ll be able to end the year feeling more . . . complete. And you’ll be ready to begin the new year with a fresh perspective.
Because that new year? It’s coming. Fast.
Get yourself ready to hit the ground running!
Note: A lot of apps and sites I use – and many of you use, too – do some of the annual tracking FOR us. Which is pretty creepy, but I’m not going to go into that so much right now. I just want to say that doing a review of your own can go a lot deeper than the end-of-year reports those apps/sites generate for you. I mean, it’s fun to look at them, sure. Because they’re packaged in such clever ways (mostly to distract you from the fact that they’ve – for example – just tracked every single minute of music you listened to for the last year, which is creepy as hell). Those sites, though? They ONLY keep track of what you do while using those apps. So . . . Spotify only reports on the music you listen to USING Spotify. And Goodreads only reports on the books you enter into Goodreads. And Peloton just counts the minutes you spend doing Peloton workouts. Just a quick snapshot. Not the whole picture of what you do or how you use your time. A personal, annual review goes beyond those “app-stats.” Just sayin. (Although it is kinda eye-opening . . . to find out just how much time one spends listening to, oh for instance . . . Harry Styles, Dave Grohl, or Weezer. Ahem.)