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  • Writer's pictureJon Mechan

Looking Back and Looking Forward

For the start of the new year, I’d like to do something a little bit different today. I recently talked about the idea of yearly themes, so I’d like to give you a tool that will help you reflect on the year we’ve just completed and look forward to the year ahead.

Below you’ll find a series of questions that I’d suggest spending an hour or two going through and answering for yourself.

If you sign up for my newsletter here, you can download a free pdf workbook version of this.

Reflecting on Last Year

Resolutions, Goals, Themes

  • What goals, resolutions, and/or themes did I set for myself last year?

  • How did I do? Did I make progress towards my desired outcomes?

  • Where was I most successful? How did I do that?

  • Where was I least successful? What got in my way?

Energy Audit

  • Go through my calendar and/or journal for last year. What activities gave me the most energy? What people did I enjoy spending the most time with?

  • What activities drained me of energy? Where would I like to spend less time?

  • Pull out the top 3-5 positive and negative things to do more and less of respectively next year.


  • Looking back to the beginning of last year, what’s different now?

  • How have I changed?

  • What have I learned?

  • What things came up several times for me that might give ideas for a theme for the new year?

You have many paths to choose from

Looking Forward to The Coming Year


  • Using my reflections from last year, what might I explore as a theme for this year? Remember, themes are broad, resonate for you personally, and directional.

  • Write a short description of what that theme is and what it means to me.

  • Outline some ideal outcomes. Think about the different dimensions of the theme, if relevant - personal, professional (personally and/or for my team), financial, etc..

  • What might get in my way?


  • How am I going to fulfil that theme? Keep it light - the idea here is not to have a bunch of goals that you’re going to feel bad at if you fail, but some rough things to aim for.

  • Thinking of the same dimensions as above, how do I want to allocate my time this year? Get some things in the calendar now.

  • Where shall I start? Write down some first step actions to take, starting this week.

Start, Stop, Continue

Finally, with the above in mind, what am I going to:

  • Start doing?

  • Stop doing?

  • Continue doing?

Tracking Progress

I’d encourage you to review what you’ve written here, particularly the Looking Forward part, at least every quarter.

  • Does my theme still resonate? What adjustments might I want to make?

  • How am I progressing towards my aims? Do they still make sense?

Feel free to adjust accordingly - there’s no right or wrong here, you’ve just created the opportunity to have a great year ahead!

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