Newvick Lee
01 Jan 2017

How to do a 2016 reflection that is actually useful

I recently watched a Crowdcast from Jason Shen's "Take 2017 by the Horns" (Crowdcast is a really good software by the way, check it out if you need something for live streaming to a select audience. No affiliations with them).

The most actionable takeaway was his system for doing 2016 reflection.  His system is more holistic and ties in with what you need to do this year. Yearly resolutions don't work if you don't keep reflecting on your goals.

It ties in quite well with Ray Dalio's perspective on reflecting (from his Principles):

"... most learning comes from making mistakes, reflecting on the causes of the mistakes, and learning what to do differently in the future. Believe it or not, you are lucky to feel the pain if you approach it correctly, because it will signal that you need to find solutions and to progress. Since the only way you are going to find solutions to painful problems is by thinking deeply about them—i.e., reflecting —if you can develop a knee-jerk reaction to pain that is to reflect rather than to fight or flee, it will lead to your rapid learning/evolving."

Jason Shen's Method for 2016 Reflection

(Anything in parentheses is my own observation/notes)

1. Highlights: What did you accomplish?

2. Lowlights: What sucked? What was painful, sad or frustrating?

(This is key. Like Dalio says, "most learning comes from making mistakes, reflecting on the causes of the mistakes, and learning what to do differently in the future.". If you don't reflect on the parts that sucked, you LOSE a lot of potential learning)

3. Lessons: What did you learn - about yourself, other people, and the world?

(Interesting question. If you think of reflection as just personal reflection, you lose out on reflecting about your place in the broader setting of, eg. your workplace.)

4. What was the theme of 2016?

(Cool way of summarizing your year)

5. Rate your satisfaction (1-5) in each of the 8 areas:
- Health + Fitness
- Friendship + Community
- Love + Relationships
- Family
- Creativity/Fun/Growth
- Career
- Money + Finance
- Well-being + Emotional Health

(Very holistic view giving you a snapshot of your current progress in these parts of your life. I'm also wondering, if you try to grow in all these parts, you won't be able to dedicate as much effort to the top 1 or 2 goals that you really want to achieve. A decision has to be made here on which parts you want to focus more on.)

6. Looking ahead:
- What do you want to do, be, or contribute in 2017?
- What kinds of actions/habits/mindsets do you need to start, stop or continue to reach those goals?
- What is your theme for 2017?

Do you have an interesting and useful way of reflecting and learning? Share your comments below!



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