But before you make your resolutions for 2019 or set your priorities for the next twelve months, I’d like to invite you to spend a few moments with me, looking backwards and reflecting on what went right, or what went wrong in 2018.
At the tail end of 2017, Tim Ferris turned me on to the concept of a Previous Year Review (PYR.) He uses the opportunity to create more informed and actionable lists for himself. The steps are below and I encourage you to try them for yourself.
Last year, for 2018, I followed his instructions (at the bottom) and came up with the following lists and actions:
- Mobility Makes Me Move Better –> Work of daily mobility regimen
- Breath Work Makes Me Move Longer –> Explore advanced breathing techniques
- Coaching Folks Feels More Meaningful –> Expand my coaching efforts
- Job Was Too Stressful & Physically Disruptive –> Change jobs
- Unfiltered Social Media Is Maddening –> Filter aggressively
- Being In Reactive Mode Is Unproductive –> Stop reacting, use a daily productivity journal
So those are my observations from 2017 which directed and my actions for 2018. From there, I made simple, actionable resolutions which helped me stay on track throughout the year. And if you’ve followed my adventures, hopefully you saw them taking shape.
Here are Tim’s instructions.
- Grab a notepad and create two columns: POSITIVE and NEGATIVE.
- Go through your calendar / journal / notes / posts from 2018, looking week-by-week.
- For each week, jot down on the notepad any people or activities or commitments that triggered peak positive or negative emotions for that week. Put them in their respective columns.
- Once you’ve gone through the past year, look at your notepad list and ask, “What 20% of each column produced the most repeatable or powerful peaks?”
- Based on the answers, take your “positive” leaders and schedule more of them in the new year. Get them on the calendar now! Book things with friends and prepay for activities / events / commitments that you know work. It’s not real until it’s in the calendar. That’s step one.
Step two is to take your “negative” leaders, put “NOT-TO-DO LIST” at the top, and put them somewhere you can see them each morning for the first few weeks of 2019. These are the people and things you *know* make you miserable, so don’t put them on your calendar out of obligation, guilt, FOMO, or other nonsense.
There you go. A simple and effective way to look back, perform your own PYR, and give you direction for 2019!
If you try it, or get stuck, or have questions, let me know!