A few days ago, as 2015 waned, I sat with a friend and we shared our annual reviews with one another.
While I do this with a friend with whom I share recovery, it is not solely focused on spirituality and sobriety. This really is a kind of year-end annual review, the kind one might do at work.
We each do it our own way. My friend writes out a number of goals in a a series of categories. He then pulls out the lists and sees what kind of progress he made on each one. Some items he will cross off as completed — or he may add new goals.
I, too, look at a number of categories. But I don’t typically have hard-and-fast goals for each one. Instead, I reflect on what yearly progress (or lack of it) I have made in each area, and think about some concrete intentions for what I will do in the upcoming year.
While we each do it differently, there are two things we have in common: Our categories are similar, and we are careful to do this work in writing. This is a serious review and we take it seriously.
Here are the categories I used in reflecting on my actions in 2015, and my intentions for 2016. In each area, I ask myself what progress I made, and what I plan to do moving forward. I try to capture specifics.
- Body (health, fitness, nutrition, rest)
- Mind (learning new things, staying sharp)
- Spirit (Recovery and program, faith, mindfulness, generosity)
- Social (family relationships, other close relationships, community)
- Finance and administration (how well I pay my bills, savings, income, orderliness of my affairs)
- Work and professional (diligence, responsibility, development and growth)
- Creativity (writing, music, other pursuits)
In talking to my friend, I invariably recall areas where I have real shortcomings as well as progress that I hadn’t recalled. I write those down as they come to me, during our conversation.
Throughout the year, every few months, I review the list in order to help me stay on track.