At the end of the year, I like to reflect back on the past year and think about how my life has changed. As part of my annual review process, I take a look back at what’s changed (or what hasn’t), and plan ahead for the new year. This year, 2018, it’s been a big, exhausting year: in January, I was nursing my son, Leo, who was one and a half. By February we were pregnant with our second child, and in October I had created a new life, birthed another baby boy, and I was nursing an entirely new human being.


I was talking with my dear friend Cary, who many of you have heard on the podcast—and she laughed, too, at how much has changed. A year ago she birthed her baby, and now her kiddo is turning one.

How much can change in a year.

Given this, we’ve all got our hands full and it can seem like doing an annual review can be cumbersome and time intensive. I’ve written a post about how to do an annual review using my full template, but to be honest, my 2018 year probably won’t have a full review unless my infant naps a whole lot over the Christmas holiday. So, for those of you who are in the same boat, here is my super-simple three question review that you can do while changing diapers, dozing off for a nap, or waiting for a bus to come on your commute.

3 easy questions for quick reflection

To keep it simple, I like to make easier frameworks for those of us that are tired. Or working. Or parenting. Or all the things. So here’s my shorter framework for you to copy, borrow, steal, or whatever you need.

1: Where were you at the beginning of the year?

Think back to the beginning of the year. Where were you, and what was your life like? Note your ages, the ages of your children (if you have them), where your business was, or anything else major in your life.

2: Where are you today?

What’s changed over the last year? And what hasn’t changed?

3: What would you most like to be different next year?

Often we can boil it down to something big we want. Something that we want to be different, or to grow. The important part of this question is the word “most”—many of us have lots of things we might want to learn, reach for, or change. What’s one thing that you most want to change?

Bonus question:

Imagine it’s the end of the year, nexy December, and you’re sitting down to reflect on the year you just had. Inhale and exhale, and then ask yourself. What will have made this a great year? What will you be so excited by? What are you glad that you’ve done?

You can use this template at any point in your life, too. It’s a great set of questions for the end of a project, a quarter, or a month.

Good luck this year! May the coming year bring you all of the adventures, opportunities, and surprises you desire.

Want more of our templates? Check out our systems and processes category on the blog, or head over to see our annual review and quarterly review templates.

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