“Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.” – Oprah Winfrey

We’ve completed another trip around the sun, marking both an end and a beginning.

  • As we approach the end of this cycle, it’s a natural time to look back at the journey that’s finishing.
  • As we move forward, it’s important to know in what direction we’re headed.

To help you with both, I’ve created a pair of tools. Actually, they’re seriously upgraded versions of previous tools, with significant changes that improve the entire process. I’ve incorporated many of my latest personal practices, as well as some client favorites.

The first, the 2016 Annual Review & Celebration Workbook (print version & digital version), is designed to help you remember the highs and learn from the lows.

The second, the 2017 Best Year Yet Workbook (print version & digital version), is designed to do just that – make the year to come your best year yet.

This year, in particular, was one of significant growth for me, and I’m excited to share my annual review early next year. In the meantime, I hope you find these tools valuable for completing your own annual review, celebration, and planning process.

 

Reviewing, Celebrating, and Moving Forward

*The rest of this article is adapted from the intro to the toolkit.*

If this is your first time doing an annual review and planning process, awesome! If you’re returning for another year, or renewing a practice that has slipped lately, even better. And, if you’re stumbling upon these materials in the middle of the year, they’re designed to be used at any time, so don’t wait to dive in.

Whatever your situation, celebrate the fact that you’re creating the conditions for success. Research shows that people who are explicit in defining their goals are 10 times more likely to attain them than people who don’t. By the time you finish, you’ll be on your way to creating a life of greater joy, fulfillment, balance, playfulness, connection, compassion, and abundance.

To make it easier for you to review and update your goals and action plans throughout the year, the annual process has been separated into two parts. Feel free to complete each one independently, but they work best as a pair. If your time is limited, do the Best Year Yet workbook first, as it’s more forward focused.

While we’re at it, feel free to do whatever you want with these tools. Complete the whole thing, complete parts, do some now and some later, copy/paste pieces into a different format – whatever works best for you and your particular goals and situation.

As designed, we’ll start preparing for the future by looking back at the past with a few goals in mind:

  • First, to celebrate. What went well? What are you proud of? What memorable moments and experiences will you carry forward?
  • Second, to learn. What didn’t go so well? Where did fear prevent you from stepping into a higher version of yourself, or attempting greater goals?
  • Third, to move forward. What lessons and insights are most valuable to take with you into the future? What are you going to leave behind because it no longer serves you?

Then, we’ll look forward to the year ahead and prepare to make it the best year yet with several steps:

  • First, by identifying what matters most. What areas of your life are most important? What are the buckets or life accounts that you want to see overflowing? How are you currently doing?
  • Second, by defining your vision and gaining clarity on your dreams. What does an ideal future look like in each of those areas?
  • Third, by creating a plan of action. How are you going to close the gap between where you are now and where you want to be? What are the smallest steps you can take to make forward progress, and how can you take them again and again and again?

This process is based on some of the most powerful methods and modalities of personal growth, psychology, performance science, physiology, wellness, and the world’s spiritual and wisdom traditions. I’ve seen it support transformation in the lives of family, friends, communities, clients, corporations, and myself. It can do the same thing for you – you just have to do the work.

What are you making with your moments, hours, days, weeks, months, and years? Your life is yours to shape, so shape it. I can’t wait to see what you create.

Michael

Grab your copy of the toolkit here.

Quick Tips on Completing

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

  1. Look at the next few weeks on your calendar and schedule time to complete this process. It can help to make an appointment and then treat that event as sacred, just like a meeting with your boss, spouse, or another important person. For best results, set aside at least a few hours. Earlier in the day tends to work better.
  2. Identify a location where you can be present without distraction, somewhere that makes you feel calm and clear. Natural environments are great for this – try visiting a nearby park, greenhouse, or conservatory.
  3. Prepare ahead of time by printing out the workbook and making sure you’ve got a fresh pen, or saving down a copy that you can access and edit offline. If you’re going digital, make sure that on the day of your battery has a full charge.
  4. Spend some time brainstorming on what might get in the way of you completing this process. Can you remove some of those obstacles ahead of time? For the ones that you can’t, what are you going to do when they arise?
  5. When the time comes, go to your chosen location, turn off your wifi, put your phone in airplane mode (or shut it down), and give this experience your full attention. You’re worthy of it.

… But Completing This Is Just The Beginning

What you’re about to create is a living document. It’s not meant to be something you do once a year and forget about, but rather used as a tool that you review and update frequently. As such, it’s best to keep it somewhere accessible.

  • In the first few sections, you’ll create a statement of being – this is most effective if reviewed daily for the first few weeks, and then periodically following the initial period.
  • After the statement of being, you’ll create a mantra. It will be short enough that you can easily remember it, and it too should be reviewed daily.
  • The later sections of the workbook should be reviewed and updated weekly, with a deeper dive done quarterly. It’s the best way to stay on top of your action plans and make forward progress on your top priorities.
  • Along the way, don’t forget to relax, have fun, and forgive yourself when you don’t exactly follow the plan. The game to play is, how quickly can you get back on track?

Let’s get to it. Download your copies and get started today!