How to: Year in Review

Evaluation= the periodic process of obtaining and organizing data then analyzing it in a way that allows the results to be used to determine progression as well as areas of strength/weakness

As we draw near to the end of 2012, this is a time where self-evaluation is of the utmost importance. Looking at our experiences through 2012, can help us understand areas where we are excelling and maybe some areas where we need improvement in the upcoming year. A lot of the time we like to look at ourselves in comparison to some of the people around us, this can be helpful. Although, in some areas it is good to view yourself under your own standards, separate from the standards of others. Look at success as subjective and not objective. I by no means have a perfect, complete guide at how to evaluate your year, simply put I would like to share some ways in which you can begin to go about evaluating yourself in the year 2012 and maybe develop some goals (not new years resolutions) for 2013(If we get past December 21, 2012…). Be honest with yourself. This is meant to help you make you better, not to be shared with other individuals and therefore you should be able to be completely honest (you owe that to yourself).

  • Dive into your memory bank, take a look at some occurrences over the year that elicited a strong reaction whether positive or negative.
  • Take a look at a few of the positive events, actions that led to those events, what you did, how you did it. Go back and re-experience the feeling, look at ways you can duplicate/build on the situation in the upcoming year. Maybe it was the joy of receiving a really good mark on a test, what study techniques did you use and how can you help yourself to continue to achieve that high mark? Through these occurrences you can start to develop a concrete list of things that are your strengths.
  • Now look at the negative things that occurred over the year, specifically things you had some control over. Being hit by a drunk driver is not something you could have readily controlled. These are the no-no’s, the “that was not how I wanted that to go” experiences. Maybe you did not study hard enough, maybe you overlooked some key details. Do not necessarily try to make sense out of them but view your actions, your thoughts and what you may have done differently. Picture an alternate result with a good outcome instead of the bad one, what did you do differently? You may be able to pick out some things that you may need to improve on as an individual.
  • If you had goals set out for the year 2012, revisit those goals, take a look at how you fared. It is important not to beat yourself up for not achieving some of the loftier goals, hold yourself accountable but stay away from bringing yourself down (you are not a failure). If you did not have any goals set out for 2012, try to set some for the upcoming year. When setting these goals try to balance yourself between being realistic but at the same time thinking big, I personally would not set a goal to gain 5 inches to my height (I am realistically not going to grow 5 inches, as much as I would love to). Some basic goals can be school related (80 average), something you would like to work on as an individual (saying no more often) or physical growth such as losing 10 pounds. The key is setting goals that you will have to work for but also things that you know are possible. Then again it is possible to believe that, anything is possible…do not limit yourself. Try to create at least 5-10 short and long-term goals and over the upcoming year take a look at these goals at least once a month. This will help you to track your progress and see if you have completed any of the goals. An example of one of my personal short term goals is to read at least 3 books over this Christmas break (3-week time period, one book per week) in comparison with other people this can be a really small number of books to read over 3 weeks but for me and where I am at I would be happy to complete this goal.

I wish everybody Happy holidays and a happy new year, let’s strive to continue to grow as individuals and communities.

“The world is your canvas to paint on”

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