Finding Chris Guillebeau’s annual review in 2010 was the game changer for the things I accomplished in 2011.  Not only for the accomplishments but also for the way I wanted to live my life – with intention.

Starting fresh may seem a bit strange especially if this is your first year but it does give you a chance to look back at your year and plan how you want to live the next year differently.

For years there are activities I’ve wanted to do & places I’ve wanted to go.  I always let them slide because… frankly, I was afraid.  I mean, I lived four hours from Savannah, Georgia & not once made the trip even as it was my heart’s desire.  Need another example: I had attempted the Couch to 5k three or four times before I ever signed up for a race.  Who would think I’m closing in on my third half marathon?  Not moi.

The review starts with two questions:

  • What went well in the past year?
  • What did not go well in the past year?

Following those answers, create goals for the values you hold essential (travel, health, savings, relationships, etc).  In addition, these goals must have some kind of metric – heaven for a nerdy numbers girl.  Add in your theme for the year & you have completed your first annual review.  *Please read Chris’ blog post on conducting your own annual review for a more substantial step-by-step process as I have only highlighted the main points.

Last year, I was pleased with my theme but had a really hard time coming up with a theme this year.  Minus a few daft themes along the lines of “duh – that’s the point.”  As many things morph, I have stolen buttahcup’s theme idea of using an animal.  2010 was the year of metamorphosis à la the caterpillar; 2011 is the year of metamorphosis à la papillon (butterfly).

I have changed a lot in the past year as my grandma tells me every few weeks but I also get the same feedback from people I see only occasionally.  But even that change is small compared to what lies ahead in 2012.  And I can’t wait to get started!

As an openly Type A person (now…it took years to confess), I have calendars, schedules,  a notebook, an online goal tracker and numerous excel spreadsheets to track my progress in 2012.  The biggest helper tool is my friend buttahcup who has gone through the reset & the annual review at the same time I did; we have gone through the learning process together & have used each other to brainstorm.

As all good things grow: sQuirrely has joined our annual review team & I have monthly accountability meetings with my mom & sister who are going through the reset & the review process now.  It’s always more fun to play with others and it is inspiring to cheer on my friends as they achieve their dreams.

{Note: This is my subtle way of offering my cheerleading services to anyone who is interested in the annual review process.}