It may be time to start a personal annual review! (part 1)

I know, I know, the year isn’t over. And what is a personal annual review anyway?

Personal annual review process

Since being independent, I don’t get an annual review for my job, so I thought it would be ‘fun’ to do one for myself. To myself! And such review shall encompass all areas of like, not just professional ones…. Arggh since I’m the worst boss, this shall be interesting!

Indeed a personal annual review is just like a job annual review and include the 2 usual parts: the review of the current & previously set goals, as well as the setting of new ones, for the year to come.

Simple enough!?!

Well first, do please note the this potentially slightly sadistic practice doesn’t come from me!

I started this annual review process because of the Art of non Conformity. Chris Guillebeau spends a significant amount of time on his own annual review, has wrote quite a bit on the topic over the years and yes, he starts the process in December.

Sadistic? Potentially yes! – Useful? Definitively!

Vintage telescope

The timing of a personal annual review

The timing of such a process is yours and what ever fits your schedule. You could even include quarterly reviews if you wish. I’m pretty sure I’m going to do just that, this year, probably even with little monthly checks considering I really enjoyed writing my monthly recaps.

You can start your yearly review as early as you wish. It all depends how much time you can dedicate to the process and how serious you want to take it.

On my side, it will take a bit of time and will be on and off, so I figured I might as well start a bit early.

In addition, considering I don’t want to have to fail myself with too many ‘didn’t meet expectations‘ and since this year, I had formulated my yearly ‘goals’ very publicly, I went back to my 2020-2021 annual review and goal settings, to see what I could still manage during the last quarter of this year.

OK, let’s go…

Or don’t! You don’t need to read my review to start yours. I’m providing it here, just as an example. There are things I don’t necessarily do right, I don’t have all the answers but I do have some ideas that you might find useful. Up to you!

My pre annual review! (this is step 1)

Let’s first recall that I’m not a goal setting person. At least, I used to dislike this. Now? It’s becoming different. I’m evolving on this too.

I dislike goal settings so much, that I called them ‘non definitive rules for 2021‘. Here what these were:

  • Increase my income
  • Become a proficient driver of vintage motorcycles! Hopefully going on a summer road trip 
  • Renovate my dad’s second motorcycle! Yeah, he had 2 and we just started on the renovation on this 2nd one, which is even older than the Indian! 
  • Sew & draw because darn, I have to make this work! 
  • Self-care 

The year before, during my depth year review, I wanted to add to the list because I thought I would get bored doing the same things. I didn’t think so anymore when I wrote my 2021 ‘goals” as I new that the new apartment would still take plenty of my time. 

So my 2021 goals did included new items in relation to such apartment: 

  • Decluttering, preparing slowly but surely for the move, finding the perfect vintage lights, the perfect vintage desk, etc…

And to achieve a peaceful 2021, I wanted to follow a very important new rule: 

Big news detox!

And… Sh@t!! I managed most of my ‘goals’!

Let’s do some grading:

Income wise, I get an A+. I increased my income way more than I ever thought. It was stressful but I mostly got over that. I even made my first online investment so I really deserve a ++!

Vintage motorcycle driving? A+ as well! Let’s be positive 2022 will be even better. No, I didn’t go on a summer road trip with Minty. But I drove a lot and that was great.

Second bike renovation? Let’s say A. It’s going great. It’s not something I expected to finish by the end of the year. Just like with Minty, it’s ok if it drags on as it’s a project that keeps my dad busy and that’s an important part of it.

Sewing? B- The year started great I must recall, but then I lost weight and couldn’t bring myself to sew things that would be too big a month or 2 later. Also I really didn’t know where to take it from there.

Drawing? B I finished my 3 parts big project but that was painful and it shouldn’t have been. And there were other things I wanted to work on.

Self-Care? I do get another A+ here !!!! +++ I never imagined how transformative this year would be. I had even forgotten this was on my list.

Apartment related goals? a temporary C – That is still ongoing, I haven’t sold as many things as I hoped, I didn’t find all the vintage lights I wanted. This can still be improved and is my main priority until we move.

Media detox? Not sure how to grade myself here. Maybe B- as I have felt lately that there is still room for improvements.

Minty resting after some adventures in not so far away lands!

On one side, this tells me that 2020 was a great year already!

These goals might not look like much but some were real challenge for me (like driving Minty). Some goals I had little to no idea on how to manage (increasing my income) and the universe delivered more than what I was dreaming of. I’m incredibly thankful. Others were unexpected, like what what happened with the self-care part. I am again incredibly grateful, despite the painful beginnings of such journey.

2020 has been so far an incredibly transformative year.

On the other side, this quick pre annual review, tells me that maybe I wasn’t aiming big enough!

Maybe, I don’t know?! I do not want to forget that I have priorities which includes being able to take care of my dad. So I can not fill my plate with 100 goals that will take too much of my time and energy. I have to keep my number of priorities low and maybe add a couple loose goals. Maybe I need to sort them in 2 categories A- must achieve goals and B – additional ‘nice to achieve’ goals.

I don’t know yet where this will take me but…… it’s time to expand my dreams for 2022!


Defining goals for 2022 and beyond (this is part 2 of the process)

OK, I shouldn’t go crazy but I need to explore at least the possibility of expanding my goals for next year!

The question is not just what goals but also how to select and rate such goals’ importance.

Now I’m actually not going to do this here because I’m still working out the process. Sorry, not sorry.

What I can tell you is that such part 2 starts in a very messy way!

I’m split into all sorts of tiny pieces, all wanting different things, sometimes with opposite or maybe even incompatible outcomes.

What I should also tell you is that such part is also very revealing, when you dig deep!

What I will also tell you is that, without any proof this strategy might work, I came to the conclusion that to define my next year objectives, I need to consider a slightly longer time frame. 2025 came to mind.

We shall see where this takes me! Soon!

Hope I’ve maybe convinced you to do a personal annual review! Do let me know!

Building a better world

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