The year end is coming, before we move on to the new year, it’s high time for all of us to do a review for the year. To me, doing this annual review is like getting a report card. It’s no different with my annual review – except these results aren’t for my studies – they’re bigger. They’re for my life.
What have you experienced this year? What have you learned from them? With every experience we face, there are important things to learn. We can either let these incidences paus by, or we can stop to understand, internalize them, and draw lessons from them. Life is your school, and the lessons are dressed up as your everyday incidences. You don’t want to be living year after year without learning from your experiences. That’s just sleepwalking your life away.
There are a lot of lessons which I learn every year. Looking back at my review for xx, one of the biggest lessons I learned is that our reactions to life’s situations is a choice, and it’s up to how we make out of situations we encounter. This realization came after a highly intense period at my job. At that time I was already a positive person, but the situation was so out of control that it really made me negative. It was after a short period of feeling miserable that I realized that the reality was such and it was up to me to make the best out of it. I could either sit and bi-tc-h about it which would do absolutely nothing to change the situation, or I could take action and make the best out of it. This small shift in my mindset created a big shift in my reality – it made me a lot more proactive and solution-oriented. It made me realize that many of us generate unnecessary baggage with negative situations in life, and it’s all about taking action to create the lives that we want. Happineis truly a choice.
Because I would write down lessons I learned each time (in my life handbook), I could then build upon my learnings. Rather than deja vuing through life situations, every time I would think about how I could apply what I had learned earlier and how I could do something different. As a result, I kept moving forward in my growth.
1. Wrap up what you’ve done this year
Many things can happen in a year and this is the perfect time to wrap them up. Were there any ups and downs? Did you get a promotion? Did you recently quit your job and joined a new workplace? Did you just start up a business? Did you move to a new place? Did you just end an unhappy relationship? Did you move on from a bad partnership? Any major events took place? Or perhaps there are nothing significant that happened?
This is the time to wrap up the year. It’s time to let go of past baggage, tie up the loose ends, tidy up your feelings, and get ready for what’s ahead.
2. Regain focus
After working for a few years, you’d find that the years sort of just start to blend into each other. Soon it’s hard to tell one year apart from the next. Subsequently, it’s so easy to fall into a routine without being conscious of it. Sometimes I hear people commenting that they’re not sure what exactly they’ve been doing with the past few years of their lives, because everything just seems like the same.
It’s just like driving. When you’re driving in a car, it can be hard to see where you are and where you’re heading to. On the other hand, pausing for a short moment to look at the map can be amazingly helpful. Where are you right now? How far have you traveled? Where do you want to go to? Doing so helps you to regain focus.
Like I mentioned above, doing my annual review is like getting the report card for my life. How do I grade myself for this year? Do I give myself an A+? A? B? C? D? or even F? This assessment reminds me if I have lived this year the way I had wanted to.
我之前提到过，写年终总结，就像拿成绩单一样。今年给自己打多少分?A+? A? B? C? D? 还是F? 这样的自我评估会提醒我，让我反思过去的一年是否是我想要的生活方式。
3. Start the next year on a high note
Last but not least, your annual review will help you to start the next year on a high note. As I’m going to share later in the post, doing your review includes setting your goals for the next year. For this year xx, my one single biggest goal was to build this blog. So this year, while other people were figuring out what to make out of their year, I was a person on a mission. By mid-year I had already exceeded some of my goals, and now that it’s the end of the year, I’ve accomplished what I had set out to do at the beginning, and more.