Some short thoughts on how to review and close out a tough year, and set ourselves up for a powerful, generative new year.
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Past year calendar review
This is an exercise I learned from Tim Ferriss, and it's great. If you do nothing else, I'd do this.
Simply put, you go through the entire past year on your calendar, and make a list of the people, activities, and commitments that triggered peak positive/negative emotions on a weekly or monthly basis. Then, find the 20% of each list that produced the most reliable or powerful peaks. Proactively schedule the positive ones now, and avoid/reduce the negative ones.
Areas of life review
Look holistically across your life. Don't solely focus on your career. I tend to go through the following eight areas of life:
For each area, I ask the following five questions (I don't necessarily answer all of them every time though):
Lastly, I like to have a freeform section that is just "is there anything else I need to say about this to feel complete?" I'm often surprised at what comes out here, so don't underestimate this question.