Year in Review Guide
Brain.fm’s Year In Review Guide
To mark the end of a uniquely challenging year, we’ve assembled a Year In Review guide to help you reflect on it all. It’s designed to have you create the space to thoughtfully consider the areas you’ve grown, the areas you can improve on in the future, and more.
With proper introspection, you’ll have a solid foundation for charting your 2021 goals & will pave the way forward to achieving your highest potential.
WHEEL OF LIFE
The Wheel of Life is a self-assessment tool that challenges you to reflect and take stock of your satisfaction levels in the key areas of your life. The result is a visual representation capturing the areas of focus & growth in the last year and revealing imbalances elsewhere.
Rarely, if ever, will you find that you’re balanced in ALL areas. Your attention is not something you can be neatly distributed among all eight areas of your life wheel. One year can hold substantial growth in certain areas, while the next year could go in an entirely different direction.
So if achieving COMPLETE balance in all areas of your life is not the point of this exercise, what is?
Namely, it’s to draw our attention to the areas that need nurturing. Without the proper time to reflect, these areas are often “out of sight, out of mind.” This exercise not only directs you to evaluate the important stuff you’ve been ignoring, but it makes you consider the things you thought were important but aren’t actually contributing to your bottom-line happiness.
Part of that distinction will come up when you’re deciding on our eight life categories. (NOTE: The WOL template has eight sections, but there’s no reason you can’t have more or fewer categories.)
For the Wheel of Life, we use a numerical rating scale (1-10) to assess your satisfaction. Someone else’s nine will probably look very different from your nine. That’s the beauty of a subjective assessment. All that matters is YOUR perception of what works in YOUR life.
As you go through and rate each area of your life, we challenge you to dig a little deeper and round any sevens to either a six or an eight. Making that distinction pushes you to evaluate beyond a point of neutrality or complacency (which 7s can often represent).
When rounding it up or down, you can ask yourself, “How do I really feel about this area in my life? Am I too demanding of myself in this area, or am I holding back in this area for some reason?”
- Draw a wheel (or click here to print one out). Use our recommended key areas to label each section of your wheel, or use it as a starting point and tailor it as you see fit.
- Rate each on a scale of 1-10 based on your satisfaction with that area in your life (with tens being marked on the outermost edge of the ring, fives marked at the midpoint between the outer edge and the center of the circle, and ones marked a tenth unit away from the center)
- For those rated a six or higher, consider why they’re a 6+ (i.e., What made that area do so well?)
- For the areas rated five or below, how can you make them a 10?
Recommended Life Categories
- Health: How satisfied are you with your diet? How about your level of fitness?
- Career & Business: How satisfied are you with the work that you are doing? Do you feel your job is heading in the right direction?
- Finance: Are you satisfied with what you’re earning? Do you feel financially set up for future growth?
- Family & Friends: How satisfied are you with your relationship with family & friends?
- Love/Romance: Are you sharing your love fully with your significant other or partner? Is it your dream relationship? Are you being the ideal partner you’d like to be?
- Personal Growth: Are you sharpening new skills? Are you experiencing new things? Do you read often? Are you challenging yourself enough?
- Fun & Recreation: Are you satisfied with your normal level of activity? How happy are you with your level of “play”?
- Physical Environment: Are you comfortable with your living space? Does your physical environment support your needs?
TOP 5 WINS
🖊 What were your top 5 wins this year?
We don’t always give ourselves the credit we deserve. Most of us are out of practice with the act of congratulating ourselves and celebrating our wins. It could be uncomfortable, or perhaps we simply aren’t used to making space for this kind of reflection in our day. Who can think about the big client we closed this morning with another presentation this afternoon and Tommy’s parent-teacher conference in the evening?
The thing that we often don’t take into consideration is that the act of celebrating has a purpose. Recognizing the good stuff we’ve accomplished not only feels good, but it re-energizes us.
If you haven’t reflected on your wins yet, take some time to jot them down now.
Given 2020’s unique trajectory, it’s expected your wins may have a different flavor than previous years’ accomplishments. A potential success could look like spending a full weekend successfully baking a wide assortment of cookies and desserts and handing them out to your friends & family. Or it could have been helping your child set up a dedicated school-from-home workspace in your living room. Whatever it looks like, you ventured out of your comfort zone and nailed it.
TOP 5 LESSONS LEARNED
🖊 What are the top 5 lessons you’ve learned this past year?
There’s a saying out there about experience being the best teacher. We propose a caveat: Experience is the best teacher, especially to those who are open to being life’s student. What does that mean? It means having an open mind. It’s to set aside the intention & space to reflect on our past experiences.
Without that key reflection piece, we aren’t learning to the best of our ability. As a result, our life path remains cyclical or even stagnant when it doesn’t need to be. Going over the positive and negative experiences with a beginner’s mindset (leaving any shame, guilt, or other unhelpful feelings at the door) prompts our brain to integrate any new lessons moving forward.
TOP 5 HABITS
🖊 What are the top 5 habits that helped you excel this year?
What habits helped you nail your workflow? What rituals kept you cool, calm & collected? These could be habits that you developed in response to quarantine this past year, or they could be habits that have been paying off for years. Think of any consistent actions you’ve taken that helped pave the way toward this year’s wins.
Now that you’ve covered your top wins and the lessons you’ve learned this past year, let’s take a look at some of the less-than-exciting (but just as valuable) things that happened...
TOP 5 HIGH-IMPACT FAILS
🖊 What are your top 5 high-impact fails?
Where did you strive big and fall short? What are five things that didn’t go well? Where did you make some mistakes? Where did you get stopped on your way to hit your goals?
🖊 Consider the things within your control that limited your potential this last year. (Think: habits, fears, beliefs about the self, or external influencers like being around certain people.) What are the top 5 relics of 2020 you’d like to let go of in the upcoming year?
For better or worse, we’re constantly changing. Change is a fact of life we can’t get away from regardless of our thoughts on the matter.
If intention is inserted into the equation, however, we have some power over those changes. With awareness, we are equipped to consider the quality of our inner world (thoughts, emotions, belief systems) and the external environment (habits we employ, people with whom we surround ourselves).
And once we’re able to identify the things that don’t work for us anymore (i.e., don’t support us on the path to our full potential), we can let go of them. Of course, letting go is not a one-time deal; it requires repetitive reinforcing. The good news is when we let go of these negative influences, we are making room for more productive & expansive beliefs and thoughts that drive us closer to what we want to achieve.
A HOLISTIC REVIEW
🖊 Concerning the goals you wanted to achieve this year, how would you rate your performance (on a scale of 1-10)?
🖊 Summarize your year in one sentence.
DECLARE THE YEAR COMPLETE 🎉
Now that we’ve excavated the good, bad, and all that got us through the other side, we can confidently close the door on 2020. To declare the year officially complete, perform some type of ritual personalized to your liking. So whether that’s going on a hike or choosing an object that reflects last year and burning in a campfire (with the proper safety precautions...) Get creative! It’s time to find closure. By leaving the past behind, we can be fully present and channel more of our focus and energy into the goals we want to accomplish moving forward.
On behalf of the Brain.fm team, we wish you a phenomenal start to 2021.
P.S. We’d love to hear from you. Tag us on twitter @brainfmapp with your 2020 biggest win :)