How Soon We Forget – Reviewing the Year

How Soon We Forget – Reviewing the Year

How Soon We Forget – Reviewing the Year



I was coaching a client recently and he mentioned that he needed to put together some documentation about what he and his team had accomplished this year. The company is getting ready for talent reviews. As we talked through what the year had been like, I pointed out some actions and initiatives that I remembered. And one of his comments was, “Oh, I forgot about that.”

Does this happen to you? It can be easy to remember what you did in the last 1 – 3 months or a big project you worked on but beyond that it can feel vague and nebulous. And often the most important gains can be found in the details and the small wins and failures.

One way to overcome this amnesia about anything beyond the last few months is to send yourself a weekly email recapping what went on that week with an emphasis on challenges dealt with, team member interactions, individual and team accomplishments and your insights from the week.

Then review these notes on a monthly and quarterly basis, noting patterns and trends, and progress. Imagine how much easier it will be to capture a year of accomplishments and professional growth.

Here are some questions you should be thinking about when stepping back to review your year:

  • What were the goals and objectives set at the beginning of the year and what was the measurement for success?
  • How did these goals and objectives align with the company’s yearly goals and mission?
  • What values of the company were your goals and achievements in alignment with?
  • What was the impact of the goals and objectives you and your team achieved?
  • What have been the highlights of the year?
  • What have been the low points?
  • What goals did you achieve and how did you achieve them?
  • What would you do differently?
  • How has your team grown in their professional skills?
  • What didn’t you and your team achieve? What got in the way?
  • What did you and your team learn?
  • What interactions did you have with other areas of the organization? What were the results?
  • Where did the team fail and what did you learn?
  • Where did you and your team step outside your comfort zone or do something innovative?
  • If you could summarize the year in 3 – 5 bullet points, what would they be?

Even if the end of the year is not when your company does talent reviews, it is a natural time for many of us to reflect on what we have achieved during the year. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is find the time for this reflection.

However, it is an investment that is guaranteed to reap rewards or as Peter Drucker suggests, “Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action”.

If you have some additional questions that you find helpful for reflection, please share them in the comments below.

If you would like some coaching support for your reflection process, you can schedule a call to discuss at

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Welcome to the Listening to the Leader in You Blog

Super-leaders arm themselves with insight. This blog is where you’ll find concepts, ideas, resources and more for honing your full set of leadership capabilities. 
Lynn Schaber, MCC
For the past 20 years, I’ve been privileged to partner with individuals intent on cracking the code to leadership beyond the ordinary.