Year in review

calendar and pen

As a new year arrives, I like to evaluate the past year with an exercise that helps me understand what went right, what went wrong, and most important, what does that mean for who I want to be in the next year?

Here’s a worksheet to try it yourself: Year in Review 2020

We’re building the coaching system to support this sort of structured worksheet-style activity.

In this exercise, you identify your “top five” and “bottom five” of the past year. These items can be relationships, events, achievements, daily habits, or anything else, big or small. Then you associate a personal core value with each of those ten items, to get an idea of what values matter to you, at this point in your life.

When a new year arrives, you might have an urge to come up with new goals or resolutions. Exploring your values can be a helpful way of orienting yourself before doing so. Here’s a good video about why you might want to live a values-focused life over a goals-focused life:

When I did this exercise, one item on my top five list for 2020 was “launching a startup!” I could associate a variety of values with this. I chose “leadership” as the value most important to me that this activity expressed. I could have chosen entrepreneurship or autonomy or adventure. Similar events and happenings may embody different values for different people.

On my bottom five list for 2020 was a questionable relationship I had been in that I fortunately ended in April. In order to associate a value with this, I had to think about how I was compromising on my values by continuing to try to make that relationship work. The relationship wasn’t emotionally healthy for me, so I chose to associate the value of “emotional health” with that particular item.

Once you’ve identified top five and bottom five from 2020, and then associated important core values with each item, you’ll have started to figure out what values matter most to you. With this as fodder, you can think about what it means for the upcoming year. By yourself or with a close friend (or coach!) you might want to talk through how you’d like to develop your plans and choose your actions to better express your values in 2021.

Try the worksheet yourself, and leave any feedback you have in a comment! Year in Review 2020