A Yearly Reflection That Will Make You Rethink Your Activities And The People In Your Life

Hannah Carver walks us through her annual year in review - a step by step guide to planning a purposeful year.

Hannah Carver
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January 9, 2024

Each year I complete an annual year in review to determine what people and activities will make it into the new year.

As an entrepreneur I find myself juggling a lot so while this sounds cut throat, it has proved to be crucial in helping me continue propelling forward by surrounding myself with the key people and activities that are most impactful. This exercise can be performed annually, quarterly, or at a cadence that works best for you.

What You Need:

  • Your calendar
  • Your phone's photo library
  • Some paper - You can also download a premade worksheet here   
  • A pen
  • Optional: A Big Ass Calendar

How It Works:

Review Your Calendar or Photo Library: Delve into your calendar and look back at how you spent your time over the past year. If you're not a calendar person, looking back at your phone’s photo library over the past year and taking note of what you captured is a great alternative. 

Identify People and Experiences: As you reflect on how you spent your time, pinpoint the individuals you interacted with and the experiences you had. Categorize them as either positive or negative. For those that fall in a gray area, insert them in the inner quadrant of your worksheet, considering it as a sort of limbo where certain people or experiences reside.

Highlight the Positive: After categorization, circle the top three to five positive people and experiences. These are the people and things you want to prioritize and embrace in the coming year.

Pre-plan with Intent: Armed with insights from your review and that Big Ass Calendar, proactively go to your calendar and pre-plan engagements with the positive individuals and activities. If there’s someone who really made a positive impact on my year, I proactively schedule coffee with this person at a set cadence. If I really enjoyed taking time for exercise, I pre-book weekly yoga classes. This intentional scheduling sets the stage for a purposeful and fulfilling year.

Navigate the Negatives: Now comes the hard part. What about the people and activities in the negative quadrants? You have to start saying ‘No’. Kathryn O’Day has a great blog post on Ways to Actually Say No

This annual reflection and intentional planning has shown me the transformative power of saying 'No' to what doesn't align with my goals for the year. Armed with this clarity, I now preplan activities that not only fill my cup, but also fuel the engine of my business. It’s important to take care of yourself while trying to balance it all. Many entrepreneurs will share that having time for hobbies and self care are critical to success. As we step into the new year, let this be a reminder: by cultivating a life rich in meaningful connections and purposeful activities, we lay the foundation for a thriving business and a fulfilled self. 

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