Reviewing is part of the planning process

Reviewing is essential if you have a plan covering more than one year and this is the time of year to do it. Even if you plan only annually, you need to review last year’s plan and see how it worked out. This applies to New Year’s Resolutions too and any plans you had for your personal life as well as your business. What’s the point in making them if you don’t ask yourself how you did? You might want to look again at my recent post on SMART planning and NY resolutions.

Reviewing should not be all negative

Don’t make this an exercise in blame. That can be so destructive, whether you point fingers at others or just beat yourself up. The main purpose should be to learn from the past so as to do better in the future. Ask what went wrong. Think how to avoid making the same mistakes again. It is amazing how often we do keep repeating our errors. Even if you have good reason to hold other people responsible for ‘your’ failures, including in personal relations, there were probably things you could have done better to prevent them or to handle them when they occurred. I wrote about learning from the past in my book Be Victorious!

The cover of Be Victorious!: Lessons from World War I for Business and Everyday Life. Is now time for reviewing those?

The cover of Be Victorious!: Lessons from World War I for Business and Everyday Life .Is now time for reviewing those?

Reviewing your successes is important too.

Although it’s necessary to look at your failures and consider the reasons (not excuses) for them, it’s also worthwhile reviewing your successes. Perhaps you could build on your strengths? Repeat your successes? That’s just as important as learning from your mistakes. Don’t be complacent. Aim at doing even better this year, but allow yourself time to pat yourself on the back and enjoy the good parts of last year.

Is change inevitable?

Life never stands still and this year is not going to be an action replay of last year However, reviews don’t have to lead to radical revisions. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. It may be only some things need changing and that only minor changes are needed. Continuity is not a bad thing as long as you make sure it applies primarily to the good things in your business or in your life.