A Year in Review
with William Whatley
William is an entrepreneur, serial traveler, and avid bullet journaler. He rarely sticks to his goals, but is extremely successful. His secret is in his year-end reconciliation.
2018 was a particularly bad year for me. If I hadn't done this reconciliation, I would have never realized that this year was actually one of the best years I've ever had.
William's process epitomizes the value of a growth mindset
—finding purpose in the journey. He starts each year by reviewing his journals from the past year to identify themes to help him answer the following questions.
Year-end Review Questions
What did I accomplish this year?
How did this year compare to last?
What did I excel in?
What areas can I improve in?
What did I fail at?
There's nothing wrong with failure
What friendships did I keep?
What new friendships did I make?
How were my relationships?
How much money did I make?
Where did I travel?
What did I learn?
How did I feel?
What major events happened?
Directionally, where do I want to "sail" in the new year?
It's a long process. Here are a few tips to help you get started...
- Break down the review process into 1-2 hours per day over 3-4 weeks
- Give a name to your year to help you encapsulate a particular, recurring theme
- Read previous years' reviews to gain perspective on how you entered the new year, emotionally and physically, and see how you tracked over the course of the year
Set your sails
Once you've reconciled the last year and know where you want to head in the new year, answer the following questions to help you develop a plan.
Yearly Planning Questions
What are my goals for this year?
How do I accomplish my goals?
What opportunities currently exist?
What is important to me?
How can I improve in specific areas?
Keep in mind this isn't a hard and fast plan you have to stick to, but is meant to provide direction to kickstart your year ahead.
I almost never actually accomplish any of the goals I set out to do, but I like to still go through the process of setting goals each year.