Past Year Review

As we enter a new decade and year, many of us would start thinking about how we want to change the habits of 2019 and start January 2020 with a bang. There is pressure to be productive and to achieve a list of goals, though it is great to start the year right, it is also important to remember that life is a marathon, not a sprint. Let’s be honest – 1 January is an arbitrary date.

Past Year Review

I had previously set out my new years resolutions that cover three areas: health, mind and wealth. Given that this has worked well for me previously, I thought I would continue to do this, but add another layer. Tim Ferriss, on his website, talks about completing a Past Year Review instead. The methodology is pretty simple. Looking back on 2019, and splitting down the middle of the page to positive and negative, note down for each week any

  • people
  • activities
  • commitments

that triggered strong positive or negative emotions.

Positive Triggers

Once you have noted it all down, ask yourself “What 20% of each column produced the most reliable or powerful peaks?”, highlight these and then make sure you book these into your diary now! As an accountant by trade, I live my life through a spreadsheet, so for transparency (though I have removed people on my list for privacy reasons), you can find this sheet here.

In summary to cover off the positives:

For health, I should continue going to the gym. I have a personal trainer and I always feel better after a session, so this year I am going to make sure I attend all 8 sessions a month which I have already paid for!

For mind, I should go to art galleries every two weeks like I use to and blog about them on the Pineapple Chicken Blog. I love blogging and want to spend more time developing my coaching practise so this will be the key focus this year as well. In addition, continuing to read books and daily mediation.

For wealth, I am going to focus on my finances this year, last year, I started off budgeting but did not stick to the habit. This did not help my situation at all. I will have a change in income this year, so I need to focus on other income-generating activities and save. Luckily, I have been able to find a financial advisor last year, so I will be working closely with them to understand what is achievable.

Having looked at the list, I also recognise that I need to consider relationships as a key area to focus on the year. There are some people who bring positivity in your life, whilst others, are like energy vampires – where interactions have to be minimised as much as possible. This year a key focus will be to spend more time with my grandmother

Negative Triggers

Once you have repeated the same exercise for negative triggers. Looking at the list, write on a sticky note and title it “NOT TO DO LIST”. This should be somewhere you can see all the time, whether it is a list on your phone or on your desk, in your wallet/purse. Wherever it is, you want it visible and clear. Don’t fall into the trap of obligation, guilt, FOMO – your time is precious so don’t do it. It is not worth it when you look back in a few years time.

Give it a go, what positive commitment and actions will you focus on for 2020? Please do share it with me and others on the comments below!

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