Why you should look back over the last year

advice | reviews | writing | year in review

I’ve always been good at reviewing things. It comes from my medical background, where we reflected a lot on what had happened and what we could learn from those experiences. But it’s actually a great practice to have in every part of your life, especially your business. So why should you look back over the last year? What should you be looking at and how should you be doing it?


I don’t know about you but I’m a gal who learns from her mistakes. Literally, the best way for me to figure out the right way to get something done is to do it wrong first, I kid you not! So, I review the year to figure out what I did wrong, to make sure I get it right next time around!

That’s not all though. I’m not all about the negatives. Looking back to see what I got right is also important. It shows me how much I’ve achieved since the start of the year. Whether I’ve reached the goals I set myself, or what I need to work on for the next year to come. And also shows me how far I’ve come!

Everyone should celebrate their wins, as well as commiserate their losses, no matter how small they might seem!


Keep it simple.

Look at money – how much you earned and spent. This is something you’ll review when it comes to doing your tax return anyway.

Look at your list of goals you wrote before the year began and check and cross what you have and haven’t achieved. Don’t feel bad about any of this though! If it didn’t get done, there’s always next year.

Consider personal goals as well as professional… They have as much bearing on how much you’ve achieved throughout the year. Record them and celebrate them!


I like to spend an afternoon with Google Docs, listing out all the goals I want to achieve over the next year. I have one big brain dump, first of all, listing everything out in no particular order as it comes to me. I then spend some time figuring out what’s important and when I want to achieve it by. Then I divide the year up into quarters and make a list of what I hope to achieve in each quarter.

The other thing I love to do is write a yearly review on my blog. It’s so great because it forces me to look back over the last year and actually gives me the opportunity to be proud of my achievements. And I still love reading those posts even years later!

Here are the last three I wrote for my business:

20172018 | 2019

Absolute honesty… I don’t manage to achieve everything I list. Sometimes I don’t even manage half of it. But, by reviewing things at the end of the year, I can see where I fell down and there’s usually a theme. For example, one year I wanted to go and see some gigs and shows, as well as take a couple of trips. I wasn’t able to mark a single one of those goals off my list and it helped me to realise I’d been neglecting my own self-care over the last 12 months. That became my biggest focus for the following year!

The important thing to remember here is that writing these lists is not about targets. If you don’t manage to achieve everything on the list, THAT’S OKAY! If you don’t manage to achieve half or a third of the list, that’s also OKAY! I challenge you to not manage to tick even one thing off. I don’t know anyone who has managed that but feel free to let me know if I’m wrong.

The point is, though, this isn’t about putting yourself down or punishing yourself. It’s about developing paths, figuring out what needs doing in your business so you always have something to focus on. Focus is definitely a massive part of what makes you productive.

So, with just a few weeks to go until 2020, I challenge you now to spend some time listing out your goals.

And good luck!!