Week 1/2024 (part 2): Annual review

Week of 1 January 2024

Annual review: The week after the in-between week

I was meant to go back to work this week.

To clarify, I was supposed to have last week off, a public holiday on Monday, another day off on Tuesday, and go back to work on Wednesday.

Thank you, covid. This did not happen.

Well, I did have the last week of 2023 off if you count being horribly sick and isolating in the spare room as having the week off. I wasn’t feeling much better on Tuesday and my doctor told me to stay off work for the rest of the week.

I did.

I was still testing positive during the week, but everyone else seemed comfortable that people aren’t contagious after about ten days, even if they do still test positive. So I was allowed to leave my isolation chamber.

And I really didn’t do much at all. Which is quite right when one is trying to recover from an insidious virus.

So much for sorting my shit out, working out what I want to do this year and going back over last year, which is what I usually do in the weeks over Christmas-New Year.

The annual review that wasn’t

At the changeover between years, I usually do an annual review that involves reading through my journal entries for the year, and working through Susannah Conway’s Unravel Your Year workbook.

It takes me at least a week to do this thoroughly.

It’s a long time, and in most previous years I’ve filled in the workbook and forgotten to ever go back to it or use it as a guide for the rest of year. So it seems like a lot of work for little return. And it doesn’t respect the work Susannah puts into creating it.

I’m also not sure that re-reading 12 months of journal entries day after day actually counts as down time.

But I felt like I had to do some kind of end of year wrap-up thing.

I know I don’t have to do this right now. There isn’t any rule that says I must complete my yearly review before the end of the year. (There isn’t even any rule that says I have to do it at all!) But I like to do it, and I know the longer I leave “Do annual review” on my task list, the less likely I’ll be do it. I don’t want to get to December 2024 and find I still haven’t at least glanced over 2023!

Because I lost all of last week and most of this week to covid, and in the interests of doing something rather than nothing, I did a pared back version. I adapted this from a review I learned about in a webinar from Asian Efficiency.

The annual review ‘lite’

The annual review ‘lite’ involved scanning

  1. A list of everything I achieved in 2023 (which ranges from “wrote a blog post” to “performed on stage in a play”). I keep this kind of list every year and it makes it easy to see at a glance how much I got done over the year.
  2. My weekly reviews, where I identified good things, not so good things and things I want to do better.
  3. My calendar, to see if I’d done anything or been anywhere I’d forgotten about.

From this, I could pull out things that had a positive effect on me, which I want more of, and things that had a negative effect, which I want less of.

They included

  • more sleep
  • more writing
  • more movement
  • more photo walking and exploring
  • less scrolling
  • less distractions
  • less sitting
  • less signing up for courses I’ll never do (and more doing the ones I’ve already signed up for)
  • less food waste

Now I have a list!

Next steps

The next step is to plan out some actions and put some habits in place to make these things happen.

But one step at a time. I certainly can’t do everything at once, so the next thing will be to decide what is most important to me and start to work on that.

I also want to think about whether I want to make any changes to my blogging in the coming year. But that seems like too much work at the moment so for now I’m going to carry on as I did last year. It seems to be working okay.

Week 1 summary

What was the best thing about this week?

We had a belated Christmas present giving and I got chicken shoes!

A pair of yellow clog-style shoes with white chicken images
Chicken shoes!

What did I notice this week?

A rabbit has started visiting the chicken yard. It seems quite happy to sit in there right next to the chickens, who seem likewise unbothered.

What did I learn this week?

You can’t apply for a duplicate Medicate card over the phone. Also, regardless of how many people are on your family card, you only get two cards. If someone else on the card wants their own copy, they have to apply for a new card and get a new number.

What I’m reading this week

  • The Confidence Gap by Russ Harris
  • The Humming Effect by Jonathan Goldman and Andi Goldman
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