What have YOU achieved this past year? If you answered “not much” (a very common response) then chances are you’ve not taken the time to really look back and review your past year in detail.
When asked “what are your successes from the previous year” many of us are inclined to jump straight to thoughts like “I haven’t achieved anything”, or “I haven’t done anything important” or “I haven’t made any progress or succeded in finishing anything”.
Really, though, if you take the time to reflect on the details of the past year, you may be surprised by the many achievements and successes you’ve had, and the progress you’ve actually made.
Ready for a morale boost? When you take the time not just to reflect on your achievements, but to write them down, it becomes a tangible thing. Something you can look at, hold onto, and be proud of.
Relish in this feeling, and don’t hold back, you deserve it!
The Review Process
Step #1. Where were you this time last year?
To fully recognise what you’ve achieved during the year you need to first look at where you started. Think back to the start of 2021 and write down what that looked like for you.
- What was your work situation?
- What did your studio look like ie. number of students or teachers you employ?
- What was happening in your personal life?
- What were your goals for the year ahead?
Try to be as detailed as you can because the more detail you include the clearer the picture will be. Now write it down on paper, or on your computer. This is an important step as you can see things more clearly when they’re not occupying space in your head.
Step #2. Reflect on your achievements.
This is the fun part, where you get to gloat. Don’t be shy. You’re the only one who can see this work so feel free to blow your own horn. No matter how small the achievement. If you struggle to really see what achievements you’ve had ponder some of these questions and see where you end up.
- What progress have you made on your goals? Any progress you have made is an achievement.
- Who have you helped and how?
- Who have you inspired or motivated and how?
- Who have you listened to and encouraged?
- List any achievements of your students whose success was brought about by your help/support/guidance/instruction?
- What have you learned?
- What have you created?
- What have you started?
- What have you finished?
Once again, write down your reflections. See them. Own them. Relish in them.
Step #3. Reflect on the problems, failures or interruptions.
This step is admittedly not as fun but it’s just as important. Reviewing not only the successes, but the failures as well, provides valuable knowledge to help us continue to evolve, refine our processes, and learn from our past actions.
- What obstacles prevented you from achieving your goals?
- What did not go to plan and why?
- What didn’t you start?
- Why didn’t you start?
- How did you fail?
- How did you feel about that failure?
- What did you learn from the failure?
- What will you do differently as a result of the problems you faced this year?
This can be an eye-opening exercise so don’t skip it! Take this opportunity to learn from the past and make changes to avoid the mistakes of the past.
Step #4. Select Your Top 3
Now that you have done this review work you might like to list your top 3 greatest achievements for the year. This is an optional step of course but when you can distil your achievements down to a top 3 you may feel more inclined to share the achievements with your family and friends or on social media. Which can be a big morale booster.
Why not take this opportunity to get ahead and make this process easier for next year. Answer the following questions and keep them in a safe place for your next review.
- Where are you right now?
- What are your goals for the coming year?
- What obstacles might get in your way to achieving your goals and what steps can you take to avoid them in the future?
- What did you learn from your past year? What worked for you? What could you do better?
I’d love to hear what your top 3 achievements have been for this past year. Let me know in the comments below so I can cheer you on.