2017 review: next year starts now

Posted by in Productivity

Pretty much every year, for as long as I can remember, I have conducted all sorts of reviews and resolutions. A few years back the “resolutions” trend wore off, and people started talking about “objectives”, “bucket lists”. I like to call it a look ahead, a plan of sorts. It is a mix of many things, but more than anything, it is an opportunity to look back now at 2017 and think: “wow, I really did all that last year? What a year it’s been!”

I have used many tools to help me both write better plans and stick to them longer. I have written in blogs, in journals, in Bullet journals, I have made Trello boards and even Wunderlists at a time. I have used Life Pies and Why Statements.

This year, I have opted for a new method. The review process is still something I believe in very much but I needed a better framework. Who would have thought that I would find it in an Excel spreadsheet. Me the anti-spreadsheet girl. If this is not showing open-mindedness, what is?

You might know that 2017 was the year I discovered author Chris Guillebeau. Well, he wrote something recently about the way he does his reviews that seemed to fit with my state of mind.

“Only by looking at things the way they are, not the way we might wish them to be, can we truly set an intention and ensure that anything within our realm of control is aligned with that intention.”

I love how he emphasizes the idea of clarity and truthfulness. I do believe the first person we lie to is ourselves, whether it is to make something look better or look worse (hello self-destructive thoughts). So the step of reviewing the year without judgment, being as objective as possible is crucial.

I did the exercise (and I will share part of it with you), believe me, it is not easy to be honest. In order to remain as objective as possible, I used my agenda to review my year and its highlights. There’s not much emotion into two words appointments. That did the trick for me.

The 2017 highlights

  • I decided to revamp UneVagabonde with the objective to maybe turn it into something that would provide me with swag and free stuff.
  • I took a total step back from BoostInLyon. In my 2017 objectives, I had thought about seizing the opportunity to step up to the plate and get more engaged in the non-profit. Instead, I let the new team take over and chose to focus my energy somewhere else.
  • I traveled in France: ski weekend (January), trips to Toulouse for Airbus, Sainte-Maxime several times, Burgundy (February & October), Beaujolais (March), Périgord Noir (April), Paris for Alpro & EM Lyon, Reims for Erika’s wedding (July), Beaujolais for Remi’s birthday (August), Annecy (October)
  • I started United Job Nation
  • I had a fun birthday celebration, surrounded by friends, at Le Temps des Copains
  • I chose to end my participation in Fatales, the musical from my music school
  • I pursued running although less than the previous year
  • I decided to end ThinkTank.fish
  • I got computer & reading glasses (old age and all that…)
  • We moved the office from La Cordée to La Factoria
  • I traveled abroad: Scotland (May); San Francisco, Pacific Northwest road-trip, Portland & Philadelphia (July), Geneva (August); Tuscany & Cinque Terre (September); Barcelona & Aosta Valley (October), Tenerife (December)
  • I became more interested in travel hacking
  • I hosted my 5 year-old niece and 8 year-old nephew and played “mom” for 48-hours (hint: it’s exhausting!)
  • John & I decided to launch The Vagabond Monkey
  • I decided to create this blog

In the end…

Overall, when I look at this list, I realize how important it is to let some things go to make room for new things, whether it’s an old sweater or your engagement to a community of sort.

If you’ve never done a review before, this might a good place to start: what did you give up in 2017, and what did it make room for?

I will share more of the process as we enter 2018, and I get more in depth with the panic-inducing spreadsheet. Stay tuned!