I conduct a self-review at the end of each year, and I'd like to share three tools that might prove useful for you as you reflect on 2023 and observe emerging patterns.
#1 Lifeline or “Moodograph”
I've maintained a yearly routine of documenting my journey to reflect on the year's highlights and emerging themes.
This practice helps me acknowledge the extent of what occurred (whether too much or too little) and assess how it felt—positive or challenging.
It involves a journal exercise where I acknowledge the difficult events of the year and find appreciation for them.
This exercise encourages taking time to process these events, perhaps even slowing down the pace?
#2 Energy Boosters
The second exercise involves reviewing the activities within my weekly routines to determine what energizes or drains me.
I've realized that the key to effective productivity isn't just about managing time but also managing energy.
Energy is life's fuel. So, how do we cultivate more of it?
Certain events deplete our energy, while others replenish it. The initial step is to list all the daily occurrences (both professional and personal) and evaluate whether they drain or invigorate us:
1. Eliminate, outsource, or delegate tasks that drain your energy whenever possible.
2. Prioritize activities that boost your energy and have a significant impact.
3. Adjust your weekly schedule accordingly.
Here's an example of tasks I prioritize in my weekly schedule because I know they elevate my energy levels and will always take precedence in my time:
- connect and laugh with friends
- connect with women, help them achieve their biggest dreams
- physical activity: run, spinning, pilates, yoga
- having a delicious meal
- relationship quality time
- cat time
- connection with plants and nature
- entertainment (movie, show, music, play games)
- learn something new
- discovery experiences (travels, culture, new people)
On the flip side, I delegate, consolidate, or minimize activities that drain my energy with minimal output, like:
- House cleaning
- Grocery shopping and planning
- Handling taxes and business admin
- Podcast editing
I know it is a budget to outsource those tasks, but a question I often remind myself is:
What is the value of my time?
What else could I be doing if I had that 1 hour free?
What would be the impact on my life/business/relationships if I used that 1 hour differently?
#3 Fear > Actions
The final tool, especially helpful during a life transition, involves jotting down your fears and potential pitfalls.
In coaching experiences, I've witnessed—and experienced myself—how individuals can become paralyzed by contemplating what might go wrong if they:
- Start a business
- Change jobs
- Switch careers
- Exit an unfulfilling relationship
- Break the status quo
Putting these fears into writing shifts them from imagination to reality, fostering an action-oriented mindset.
Often, our fears and anticipated consequences appear larger than they truly are, so it's beneficial to confront them.
This process prompts a commitment-based inquiry:
Am I willing to take necessary steps to prevent these outcomes?
Am I prepared to take action if my feared scenario materializes?
If your answer to both questions is 'YES,' then you're ready to move past your fears and take action!
Another aspect to consider is the cost of inaction and indecision.
By gaining clearer insight, you might realize that taking action, even with potential repercussions that need fixing, could still result in a better outcome than the consequences of doing nothing.
I wish you good luck and findings with your end-of-the year journaling!
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