This is for You if You Don’t Review

It’s the time of year for reviews. This is usually when we are reminded of what has happened in the last twelve months in the worlds of politics, sport and music. Yet how many of us perform a review of our own?

If this is something you don’t usually do for your business let me suggest the following process.

Firstly you must have some record of the past year to review. I used to be quite poor at keeping track of what I did each week. Eventually I realised it meant I was overlooking my (admittedly modest) achievements. Ultimately this lead to me losing motivation, so I started keeping better records. (Though they could still be better – see below). Now I just go through this year’s desk diary and look at each week and the 3-weekly reviews I do throughout the year.

If your records are less than useful perhaps you could look at when certain files were created or downloaded to get a clearer idea of what you have been doing over the past 12 months.

Use your records to write out a quick summary of your year and then ask yourself the following questions.

1. What did you accomplish? If you set targets at the start of, or during, the year did you reach them?

There were several for me, including starting this blog. I also recorded some videos using Camtasia for the first time and opened a business Paypal account. These may appear to be small steps, but they seemed daunting and troublesome at the time.

2. What were the biggest disappointments during the year?

This may be the easiest question to answer so guard against writing a long, depressing list.

For myself the biggest disappointment is the slow, almost glacial progress I have made putting together a product.

3. what have I learnt? Thinking of the answers to the two previous questions may help you answer this one.

Personally, I realise that I still need to improve how I plan and record my work, and that steps which seem daunting should be done anyway. They often turn out to be nowhere near as difficult as I assume them to be.

The next questions build on your answers so far and look ahead to next year.

4. What results do you want next year? You need to be clear about your destinations if you are to make the most of your footsteps. (Sorry, came over all Confucius there!)

A completed front end product and a new membership site are my main targets at the moment. I don’t have the concept for the site fully formed, but it’s enough to know the general direction I want to take.

Having an idea of the results you want and thinking about your successes and failures this year, try these next questions.

5. What should you stop doing to get the results you want?

6. What should you start doing to achieve the results you want?

7. What will you have to keep doing to get your desired results?

8. Is there anything you should do more of to get the results you want?

Your answers may seem to produce something of a wishlist of actions for next year. The big question now is will you have time to do all the things you plan?

For now just concentrate on answering the first eight questions. In my next post we’ll address this last question by planning your time.

Do you review your year? If so what approach do you take? If not, is the above helpful? I’d be really interested in your comments and feedback as I believe a good review and planning process can have you hitting the ground running in the New Year.


6 responses to “This is for You if You Don’t Review”

  1. Hi David, excellent post! It lays out a great battle plan in getting organized & maintaining focus, which eventually leads to profitability & efficiency. I’ll be printing this post out & referring to it often. Thank you.

    • Hi George,
      Glad you find the post useful. I believe if we can be organised and maintain focus as long as we have a workable plan success will follow.

  2. Hi David,

    that’s a good list of questions. Here is a comment I made on George Nieves blog which maybe of some use.

    As you know it’s about focus. Around the end of December I make a yearly plan.

    What do I want to accomplish this year? What products do I want to develop? What niches do I want to try out?

    These are all a mixture of big products and small ones (so that I can get something done quickly) as I finish products I tend to slow down as I find doing sales pages and affiliate materials a bind.

    I break all this down into 90 day chunks and then into 30 day, then weeks etc. Just paint the yearly plan and the 90 day ones with wide brush strokes and add the detailed planning on a weekly or daily basis.

    I use a large desk diary and plan out what I need to do each week, I then make a list at the end of each night of the 5 most important things to do the next day. I find that it makes me more accountable.

    Of course things do not always go to plan and remember to plan in family time and days off all work, no play etc…..

    Avoid distractions, I sent my cable service back and have not missed it.

    I only look at e-mail at the start of a session and the end which is when I check out Facebook.

    I hope this helps and that the year ahead will be both fulfilling and profitable for you.


    • Hi Robert,

      Thanks for stopping by to leave a comment.

      This is also pretty much how I work day to day. One change I’ve made recently is calling my To Do list a Get Done list, just to encourage me to consider outsourcing a little more of the work.

      Here’s to a prosperous 2013


  3. Hi David
    I found your blog while visiting Robert’s, my year has been up and down, I started off well but in the summer had to take a little break but I came back in October so I have to sit down in the next few days and finish off my plan for 2013.

    There is quite a lot I would like to accomplish next year so I know it needs careful planning, but I am determined I will succeed!

    Have a great Christmas

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