It is that time of year. Time to evaluate all that happened in your life including work, relationships, and self-care over the past year.

2020 has gotten a bad rap. Yes, Covid and isolation have sucked. But I think if you look at the year, with an open mind, good things will present themselves.  

How to evaluate.

Start with What Worked?

Why start here? It is good to start with the positive. And once you start thinking about the bad it is hard to find the positive. Having the list already will help you remember the good.

I recommend doing this with both work and personal life. Once my brain gets started thinking, more stuff follows. I end up working on this for a few weeks so I have time to process the whole year.

Next step it to write about What Didn’t Work?

This is an important list. It can open up some difficult thoughts. It is hard to admit something didn’t work. It is a failure. But failure is not a bad thing if your use the information from the failure to make a change. Failing is how we learn. Think about learning to ride a bike. You fall and you get back up.  And you learned what to do to stop that from happening. Sometime is takes a few falls before you learn what you really need to learn.

Step three, What Will you Do Differently?

This is the creative stage of the evaluation. It is important to not judge your failures. Instead look at them for information.

Why didn’t it work?
What could you do to make it work?

I love this stage. It is where creativity comes in. Some of the ideas you come up with will fail. You won’t know until you try them. Have fun here. Write down everything you can think of. Some are big ideas, some are small things.  One of mine is to go back to the electronic calendar instead of paper. It is more accessible electronically. A simple change but I know it will help me be more organized which will give me more freedom.

Think big and think small. And implement a few. Maybe schedule to add one a quarter? Set yourself up for success, not failure.

The last step is to come up with Three Top Wins for the year.

This will help you end your evaluation on a positive note. Choose the wins that are important to you. They will give you information. They will help you see the direction you are going. How you feel about your life, your career and your relationships. Think about why you are picking these as your top three.

The Evaluation can take some time.

It takes time to remember all we have accomplished in the year.

I don’t just sit down and write everything out. I start the list. I look at my calendar to jog my memory. I walk away and come back to it often. New thoughts and accomplishments come to me as I remember things. This can take me a few weeks. Sometimes just doing everyday things like the dishes, reminds me of more things I did or want to do next. I really love this process.

I know I am in control of my life and I take responsibility for my choices. I want to live my life, full of experiences.

What about you?