How do you reflect on the past year and set goals for 2022?

Nim Ron
34 replies
Would love to hear if you have an organized strategy to summarize and reflect on 2021, and to set goals for 2022 accordingly? For yourself, your team, or your company/project? Thanks, and happy (almost) new year!


Collin Thompson
Perfect time for this question. I've been doing this personally for the last couple weeks and last night pulled in my co founder to reflect on the wins and loses of the year. I find that, and this is not to sound cliche, but the failures are really good to reflect on. here's why. You may run a long form experiment-set a goal- and go after it. then in the end it doesn't work out how you thought. The feedback you get is gold, and it helps you re-up, with vital knowledge that you can use to be better. We've realised that embracing the criticism/feedback is the best way to get to your goals. So this year with our planning we're being more deliberate with planning our sprints and defining our goals. We've also started thinking about what our daily routines are and what are the projects and processes that will help us achieve our specific goals for the coming year. I'm super pumped!
Alexey Shashkov
Hi, Nim! I have a method to reflect on the past year and set goals for the next: 1. I'm completely disconnected from the digital world. I turn off all notifications and remove all distractions that might interrupt me unexpectedly. For the whole day. 2. Then I take a piece of paper and in the very center I write something like, "What can I say about the past year and what do I want to do next year?" 3. I try to immerse myself in a state of strong puzzlement with this question and thus form a strong dominance in my brain. So that I can think about it all day and nothing else. 4. When my brain is puzzled, I start writing out all the facts on paper. That's how I get a big fact-map. 5. After looking carefully and studying the resulting map of facts, my brain loads all these facts into its default mode network and begins to work actively. 6. Then I let my mind wander freely, while I do nothing. I just walk around. 7. After a while, my brain starts giving out a lot of ideas and hypotheses. I write them out and get a map with ideas. That map is my fundament for setting goals and writing plans. 8. I end up setting goals and writing plans. I hope it helps. =)
Jerremy Ollaf
@shashcoffe Great! Sometimes better to be disconnected from the digital world. ANd writing something on paper is the best way to be alone, to structure our mind.
Ben Tredin
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Sergio Jimenez
I like to do a lot of personal finances planning, specially at the end of the year. I try to pay everything with card and every month I write down all the expenses listed on my bank's website into an Google Sheets page with some formulas on it, and then at the end of the year I collect all that data and review how much I spent on each thing. Then, I make a budget for next year trying to adjust the topics I've spent more than intended (it's quite shocking to see that you spent 1500+€ on bars and restaurants in a single year, but this one slips out very easily). I have a template for the sheet I use that I can share if someone is interested. But, on the personal side (goals and tracking them, professional career, personal growth, etc) I have a big lack of planning I think. I think about that often and try to accomplish small goals, but I'm starting to think I need some kind of roadmap or at least "route" on what do to. I think I'm going to try @shashcoffe's method; taking a full day off shouldn't be too hard this holidays and might give me a huge amount of ideas and inspiration.
Alexey Shashkov
@sergio_jimenez_rom Wow, did anyone else besides me like my method? That's awesome! Sergio, you can do it! That's critical to create dominance in your mind for the whole day and not be distracted by anything else. What about your «big lack of planning» – I know that's a big deal! But we can fix it together. Can you tell me what have you already tried to solve that problem with planning?
Nim Ron
@shashcoffe @sergio_jimenez_rom Very happy this discussion helps! Good luck Sergio, it's a great time for change and improvement!
Jerremy Ollaf
@sergio_jimenez_rom @shashcoffe Gays, please, could you share the template?:) It will be very useful for me for next year.
Alexey Shashkov
@jerremy_ollaf Jerremy, I don’t have a template yet, but I can create that. I want to understand what's the problem for you?
Jerremy Ollaf
@shashcoffe I think main problem is not easy keep focus on and develop my projects seriously with high efficiency. Now I am looking the best prictice of planing from all world)))
Qing Wang
Hi Nim, 2021 was quite a transformational year for me.. I finally made the decision to switch my career into tech. It was a carefully planned move but at the same time a leap of faith.. My way of reflecting on the year was to make a mindmap. It helped me to look at the successes, failures, learnings, etc. in a visual way. Talking to close friends while using a Kanban board also helped in my reflection. For 2022, I'm experimenting with goal setting via Jira. Basically, I'm going to be running Sprints twice a month. Each Sprint I'll set a Sprint Goal. We'll see how that goes.. I'm quite excited about using this new method.. And if anyone is hiring, I'm currently seeking a remote Scrum Master, QA Tester or Customer Support Representative job.. Please check out my LinkedIn profile at: Happy New Year! Gratefully yours, Qing
Nim Ron
@veggiesync Thanks for sharing and I definitely hope and wish you succeed achieving your great goals this year! Determination and patience will pay off! Have an amazing year Qing!
Qing Wang
@nimrodron Thank you for your kind reply and encouragement, Nim! I wish you big success as well this year! Let's keep up the great fight!
Alina Ihnatiuk
I open all monthly reports - I write down the points that need to be improved - I write a strategy for promotion and development - based on the strategy I write a plan and goals
Hi. Summing up the results of this year, I want to cry at times. Somewhere with joy and somewhere with sadness. There were a lot of sticks that hit me in the wheels throughout the year. But on the whole I gained a huge amount of experience. And I believe in the saying that "all things work out for the best. And given that experience is a priceless coin. I'm happy to have survived the year. After all, I got smarter and succeeded in my field. I work in affiliate marketing in the field of online dating. This year has been stormy and more than once. But I want to say thank you to my affiliate program that every time they adapted and pulled me up. Than helped me make money. I would like to wish all of you in the new year 2022 to strive for your goals, not to stop for a moment, go to your dreams and despite the fatigue to do their job better than anyone else. Happy New Year, my friends.
Nim Ron
@vitiklitik A year with a good blend of joy and sadness sounds like a good year of growth and stepping out of your comfort zone. Keep it up and I'm sure you will look back at it with pride!
Gui Latrova
I write and scribble nonsense things. Stuff like "I enjoyed it, I should do more of that, I need to stop this". The goal is not to make sense... I'm not writing for someone to understand, I'm just dumping all my emotions and all my ideas in a piece of paper that is never big enough. When I put all this mix of ideas and feelings all messed up on paper I can start having the big picture of things that I want to do more or less. 💡 Doing this while drinking your favorite beverage and without rush is highly pleasant. Then, my next steps are to: • Scope it down to smaller chunks of time (1 year is too big for any planning) • Remove what doesn't fit (I can't do everything that I want at the same time) Scoping it down to smaller chunks is a killer trick. We're (at least not myself) not good at all at planning for the long-term, it gives you more opportunity to procrastinate and less to reflect. After 6 months you got the misleading feeling that "you still got 6 months", and then December comes and now it's too late. I do reflect on the year, but I plan everything in chunks of 3 months (which pushes me to do 3 other reflections before the year ends). Then, removing what doesn't fit is all about: "What to say no to"? It's easy to tell yourself that you're going to change your life radically by doing 100 new things right next Monday, but It's hard to keep up. So I start thinking between these 3-5 things, what I'd feel prouder or happier of accomplishing? Then I start removing what I initially wanted to do, but now I don't. Past Learnings: • Goals are more about "who you want to be" over "what you want to do", they're driven by emotions, so navigate wisely and you'll end up where you want. • Do not feel bad about changing the goals you initially set. You evolve and grow on a daily basis, not yearly, so it makes sense to keep updating your goals as you and your interests change. Oh, one more thing. Life (and any goal) is too complex to be determined on how to "approach", take these ideas, make it fit your style, and do it your own way.
Every year on the 31st of December I go to a café with my best friend, and we follow the guided questions in this booklet: We make our own adjustments, but it became our little new year tradition to do so. Really nice to share our thoughts about what went well, what could've been improved, and how we imagine our upcoming year.
Hiba Amin
Hey Nim! I actually wrote a post around my goal-setting process here: But in a nutshell, this is my process for setting quarterly goals: 1. Review the last quarter (what went well, didn't, what should we start, stop, keep, etc) 2. Understand the org-wide and exec team goals 3. Develop bigger-vision departmental goals 4. Gather feedback from the team and brainstorm together 5. Create goals and make them accessible to the team 6. Talk about goals every single week with the team 7. Retro that quarter and start over again. P.s. we're actually live on product hunt today with a library we've built that includes over 360 goal examples from leaders across tech! ( Thanks for bringing this question up, it's great!!
James Buckley
SO my 2021 has not exactly been a pinnacle of excellence, lets just say personally i just survived, but i learnt a lot about self during this year from loosing someone so close to you to gaining someone else. 2022 i hope is better and the worst is over, the best thing I think one can prepare for is the next day and if you prepare for the next day you already are doing better than what you were doing the previous day or even the previous hour, planning an entire year based on a hunch is something i would never advise, not because of the fact that i have never done this, but by the fact that 2021 made me realise life is to fragile to be the way we are, we should be more elastic rigidity anywhere in any part of life for whatsoever reason will only cause problems so one should always be flexible enough and not take everyhting so personally. So my 2022 is just based upon planning the next day and seeing where it leads me.
Harvey Self
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Greg Born
Did I achieve my goals, what went well during that timeframe and what could have gone better. What did I learn from that. Often times I feel like I learn every day. Also, I keep a list of achievements throughout the year.
Jerremy Ollaf
I hope next year will be more friendly for humanity, but number says for themselves - nothing to expect. People are dying, inflation is rising, countries are increasing their aggression. Despite this, the plan is obvious - to live in 2022 better than in 2021. And the main goal is to make the launch of my project.
Michelle Lock
Joey Banks shared a great Notion template on Twitter to help reflect on 2021 (here's the tweet: To set goals for 2022, I also am using Notion to break my goals down into projects and tasks to make them measurable as well as actionable.
Tanya Sharma
Hey Nim, My co-founder (@dafnihnd) and I have an annual ritual of reflecting and documenting our learnings. We also wrote about our 2021 here: https://flatmatefounders.substac... :) In case you want to join this reflection exercise in a guided way, we're doing this together under the hashtag #GrowInPublic on Twitter, check our launch tweet: Either way, hope you have a reflective rest of the year and a great start to the new one!
Sara Gifford
I usually ask myself two questions. (1) How did we do compared to our targets? (2) How did I feel doing the work this year? If we meet all of our numbers but it doesn't feel good, then we know that next years goals should focus on culture. If we feel great but aren't succeeding then we have to wonder if we're working on the right things.
Russell Vaughan
I'm a huge a fan of reflection, and try to make it part of a process rather than look at it at the end of the year. Pretty much because I find it difficult to reflect on a whole year in one go. I try to do it on a daily basis and then I find it much easier to look back at those at the end of a month, quarter and year. I know some people journal or blog, or use notion. Whatever really works. I personally find it really hard to find the time for long form content (consistently) so I built a little simple app to help to facilitate small structured daily reflections. Happy to share with anyone who wants to try:
Tim Wiffen
I work on OKR software that helps people set goals. It's suitable for personal, team and company goals, especially if you want to align teams to the same, ultimate goal for the year. We are a very small SaaS company and work hard to help our users. Have a look and see what you think.