Episode 152: My Yearly Review Process to Set Goals For My Most Successful Year Yet!

January 2, 2023

It is time for a yearly review.

To me, New Year’s resolutions set an unrealistic expectation that things will be different just because the clock struck midnight, without acknowledging how to make them different. In a way, it’s similar to the definition of insanity where we step into a new year with a new resolution, but we didn’t change anything about ourselves. 

This post is going to help you shift life on its axis, in the direction you actually feel called to go. You’ll be able to see the fruits of your labor, you’ll be able to see the change and evolution of yourself and your business by looking backwards to go forward. 

We’re going to dissect last year and I’m going to teach you specific ways to peel back the layers on observing the last year so that you can actually build the year you want to live, that will take you into the long term vision that you have for your life.

This year, don’t just start planning and getting excited without making sure that you take the time to look at the last one and see how you can improve, tweak and develop in a way that is going to make the necessary turns to guide you towards where you actually want to go. And if you need some help with that, don’t forget to do the True North exercise at

The Tools You Need

Through the years, I’ve developed a process of reviewing my previous year to set myself up for the next one. 

In the beginning, I would just say: “Let me think about last year. What are my goals for this year? What’s my vision for this year?” But now, I actually really get granular with it and I dissect the previous year. Tools that help me do that and that you need are:

  • Your phone
  • Your planner from the previous year
  • Your journal/diary
  • Your financials

These are all things that I utilize to help me figure out and analyze how the last year went and what I have to do differently, going into the next one.

Your Phone 

The first thing I do on my phone is I open up my calendar.

Next I use the search feature. This helps me to get a sense of where most of my time was spent. You can also just go through the days real quick and just get a sense of where the bulk of your time was spent in the previous year. You have to be aware of where your time was spent. Because if the answer is that certain things didn’t come to fruition, which is very common and very likely, you need to find out why. And a lot of times it’s because where your time is being focused – your energy is being focused, and it might not be focused on the goals that you actually set. 

The other thing that I want you to use your phone for is to look at where you have notifications turned on. If you value becoming a leader and you really feel called into your next level, you should not have anything that pops up on your phone minus a phone call. No app should send you any reminders. You control that, you set time in your calendar when you’re going to go in and specifically check your Instagram, your emails, your text messages, etc. This is not something that your phone should control.

Finally, use your phone for your benefit. It’s not all bad if you use it correctly. So, if your priority is your family, that should go in your calendar first. Look at the whole year, block off the times that are vacation or staycation or a special adventure with your kids, days of the week that you’re not working so that you can be present or the afternoons that you take off. Whatever is most important to you, goes in your calendar first. 

Your Planner From The Previous Year 

Your planner from last year is going to help give you a sense of where you got lost in the shuffle. 

If you don’t have a planner and you feel like this piece of the process is lost on you, my recommendation would be to find one that’s really going to align with your values and the direction that you want to go. It’s really important to to have a tool like a planner where you’re focusing yourself because to me the calendar on my phone is just for the big stuff (calls, meetings, travels, etc.) but the planner is where I get into the nitty gritty of exactly how I’m spending each and every day. 

Now, when you go through your planner, you might find a to-do list after to-do list and if you do, that’s the evidence that last year wasn’t the leadership year, it was the management year. But, if it’s on your heart to go to your next level, if it’s on your heart to be a thought leader and to be known for what you do and to be an amazing, present parent that is actually raising up luminaries of your own, you gotta get out of the weeds. That’s a cycle that needs to be broken in order to go to your next level. You are no longer going to work from a to-do list. 

The other thing I want you to look at within your planner is: did you map out the time? This is the most important piece for your planner and there are two different ways you can run things:

  • You can just dump in the things that you have to do in certain hours and every day you show up and you look at that planner and you say: “Where do I have to be today?” That’s the “to-do list manager” way of running your business aka letting your business run you.
  • The other way is to have the calls and the things that you’re committed to, but also have little squares that block off specific amounts of time where you put your energy and focus into the things that are going to drive the train towards, where you actually want to go. Content creation, nurturing relationships, connecting with people, etc.

Lastly, just go through that planner and look for patterns and if they served you. Did you just not put your energy where you needed it in order to do the thing or did you have this disillusion in your  mind that you can just set the goal but you don’t have to actually do the things to get you there? Find those patterns and then adjust going into this next year of planning.

Your Journal/Diary

The next piece of the puzzle is looking at your journal. This is going to give you evidence of the back end, your heart, the emotional side of this process. 

I can see and flip through the moments where I was experiencing pain or hardship in my business or home life and then I can look at my calendar and kind of just see how it all collided and why. You have to be able to look at the human side of it – your emotions, how you felt, what you were navigating; and look at the literal side of it, of what you were doing, and be able to capture those two worlds. 

The journal is a powerful tool, because it’s also a reminder of how you push through. You can go over it and see how you were able to push through those hard times and be resilient. You can look through both your planner or your calendar and your journal and look at things outside of the granular: what were the big milestones you hit or the things that maybe you downplayed and and just didn’t realize, who did you spend the bulk of your time with, did some relationships took a backseat? Let all of that be a reminder to weave that into this next year. 

If you just try to think of the last year, it’s not going to be accurate. It’s going to be your emotions manipulating your mind into thinking a specific thing, instead of pulling out the pieces of paper and the digital elements saying exactly what actually happened.

Your Financials 

Whether you track it in an online way or you track it by looking at your credit card expenses, you’ve got to look at the financial reality within your business and in your home life. 

How much do you bring home? How much is being saved? Where is it being invested? What did you spend the most money on? Where can you afford to spend more because it would give you a better ROI? 

These are things that are critical to look at as a business owner and the leader of a family. It is not fair to your children, it is not fair to your spouse, it is not fair to yourself, to just spend without knowing where it’s going.

As you look back on the last year, you can also see where you could’ve made better decisions. To ensure that you go into the next year with discernment and wisdom that take you into the decisions that are going to move you closer to where you want to go. All of this is about helping you step more boldly towards where you’re being called, both in the four walls of your own home and within your business.

Find Your True North 

It’s not about how you map out a year. It’s not about how you review a year. It’s about how you live in reality and ensure that the things you are doing are allowing you to live a life that is fulfilled, that is moving you in the direction of your dreams.

This year, don’t just start planning and getting excited without making sure that you take the time to look at the last one and see how you can improve, tweak and develop in a way that is going to make the necessary turns to guide you towards where you actually want to go. And if you need some help with that, don’t forget to do the True North exercise at

If you try this Yearly Review Process, let me know how it goes!


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