At the end of 2011, I made a commitment to be more intentional about reflecting on my life and work. My core question was: how will I know if I’m making progress on the goals, dreams and opportunities I have for myself?
It all started with my annual review of 2011. Since January 2012, I’ve been doing a review of each month as well.
My monthly reviews have helped me to:
- make sense of all the events in my life
- keep track of my goals
- celebrate my accomplishments
- stay in alignment with my personal mission statement
- avoid living my life on “autopilot”
After a whole month, it can be easy to forget all the things that you did. So here’s your chance to reflect on your experience of last month – how you spent your time and how you lived your life. Consider this your monthly review.
What You’ll Need:
- A notebook and a pen OR your laptop if you prefer to type or blog
- Your calendar from the previous month
- Soothing music and/or a candle (if you’re the moody type, like me)
How to Conduct a Monthly Review
It’s best to conduct your review within the first 7 days of the month, while your memory of it is still fresh. Give this exercise about an hour so your mind can quiet down, be still and remember what was important.
Of course, you should feel free to use your own guidelines to conduct your monthly review! Or simply use these suggestions as a jumping-off point for something completely different.
Step 1: Make a List of What You Did Last Month
Get out your notebook (or laptop) and make a list of the significant events that occurred last month, in both your personal and professional life. Of course, YOU are the one who defines “significant.” Your list could include anything and everything from going on a date to joining a new gym to getting a raise at your job or landing a new client in your business. You may need to refer back to your calendar for this step. I know I sure have to!
Step 2: Reflect on Last Month’s Goals, Accomplishments and Lessons
Answer the following three questions:
- What was the biggest PERSONAL milestone you reached last month in your relationships, health, finances, education and/or lifestyle?
- What was the greatest PROFESSIONAL accomplishment (at work or in your business) that took place last month?
- What was the MOST valuable lesson you learned last month?
Step 3: Identify a Theme Word for the Previous Month
Choose ONE word that describes your experience of the previous month. If last month had a theme, what would it have been? Or, name the emotion that captures the essence of how you felt during the past month.
Step 4: Describe What You Want to Happen This Month
After you’ve reflected on the past month, it can be useful to set goals and intentions for this one! What do you want to happen in the coming month? What do you want to feel, experience or accomplish?