I never post on Tuesdays but I really wanted you to read this before 2015 ends.
In this post you will learn why it is important to review your 2015 and what to pay special attention to going forward into 2016.
Review your entire 2015 by writing down details of the past year on a piece of paper.
What you did. Where you’ve been. What you achieved.
Reflect upon your year, month by month. See what phases you went through. What realisations you had. How far you’ve come.
Look through your calendar diary. Look through photos you’ve made. I looked through my iPhone notes which held a lot of clues about my 2015.
If you can’t fit it all on an A4 page – that’s even better.
The purpose of this exercise is three-fold.
1. Is life happening to me? Or am I taking charge and making life happen for me?
2. Am I progressing?
3. Are there hidden messages in what I’ve done in 2015? Is there anything I should be paying more attention to? Are there things I should explore further?
When reviewing your 2015, be mindful of a few things:
1. Try to find common themes
Were there any overarching themes that recurred throughout the year?
You might even have to backtrack and go a few years back to see a common thread of interest throughout the year.
Was it drawing? Was it Mixed Martial Arts? Maybe you dabbled with animation and video editing as a stepping stone to completing a project?
Once you’ve established those themes, make a plan to continue to incorporate them into your life.
2. Plan forward with these themes
Plan forward with those themes so they occur with purpose, as opposed to being reactive and just letting them happen to you.
If you incorporate these themes into your future plans and do this consciously and with purpose – then you will have given direction to your pursuit.
And that’s why making your New Year’s Resolutions is a good reflective exercise to make sure that you actively pursue your interests with purpose. You can read about how to make Resolutions that last an entire year here.
Then maybe there will be an event ahead to culminate a period spent in immersion.
3. Build systems around these themes
If you don’t have a system that you can follow to make sure you are tending to your long-term plans, you’ll likely experience feelings disappointment when you do your year in review.
Because you’ll realise that you had a bunch of goals but had no system to support you in achieving them.
That’s why it’s important to build systems that will feed into any overriding long-term goals you might have.
A system is a self-imposed structure that is supposed to help you achieve your long-term goals.
For instance, basketball legend Kobe Bryant would wake up early in the morning to perfect his craft by shooting some hoops.
Cristiano Ronaldo has a habit of staying on the football pitch to practice some drills and free-kicks after all of his teammates have gone home and called it a day.
These athletes have built these systems with one goal in mind – to be the best in their sport.
And by religiously following these systems, they have achieved their long-term goal.
If you build systems and follow the process they entail, then you know you’re on track.
And whenever you might have doubts about your progress – know that you’re on track because the system you’ve built for yourself was specifically designed so that you succeed in getting what you want.
If times get tough – don’t scrap the system. Tweak it, build upon it, refine it until it best serves your progress.
These systems will be the ultimate metric to your progress.
If you don’t have these systems, what do you measure your progress by?
You might want to “have a model’s body” but how are you going to do that if you don’t have a system built around a gym routine or a healthy nutritious diet that would fuel your workouts?
Build a system and have faith in the process. Be mindful that the system you put a lot of thought into developing will carry you to your goals.
You might want to achieve your goals ASAP because we humans are inherently impulsive creatures.
But you have to be prepared to play the long game.