In the Agile delivery world, after you’ve presented your demo at the end of the sprint, the next key ceremony is the retro.
The retro is when you take the time to review for your team to get together. You ask yourselves what’s going well, what’s not going well and what can be improved moving forward.
It’s one of the ways that you’re continuously improving not only what you produce or create but HOW you create it.
Given that so much of my work life is given over to Agile ways of working, not surprisingly this approach flows over into my approach on life.
I like to review the current year before I start planning the next year. Because if you don’t do that, how do you know what to stop doing, keep doing and start doing?
How to review 2023 so you get a better 2024
Here then are my top tips on how to review your 2023 so that you get a better year in 2024. Of course your definition of ‘better’ is likely to be different than mine.
Better might mean more successful at work, more emphasis on self-care, more money, more freedom. Before you decide what a better 2024 looks like to you, start with reflecting on what happened in 2023.
1 – Take time to reflect and celebrate your successes
I was running an all day workshop yesterday and at the start, I asked participants to share something they’re proud of doing in 2023. I was amazed at the incredible things that people had achieved.Two women in the room had completed their masters in 2023. How amazing is that.
But so often we don’t take time to celebrate our successes at work because we’re so focused on moving onto the next thing. The next project. The next workshop. The next deadline.
Before you do any planning for 2024, I urge you to take time to reflect on and celebrate your successes, both big and small. Ask yourself ‘what’s gone well this year’ and celebrate those successes.
2 – Reflect on what hasn’t gone so well
Sometimes it’s so much easier to reflect on what hasn’t gone so well and then use this to criticise our actions or behaviours.
Reflecting on what hasn’t gone so well is important to help you uncover any niggles and dissatisfactions so that you can do things differently in 2024.
When you reflect on what hasn’t gone so well, focus on what actually happened, rather than blame or judgement. It’s much easier to identify what and how to improve things when you look at the facts.
For example you might ask yourself ‘what’s been my biggest challenge’ or ‘what caught me off guard’.
3 – What have you learned
When you take time to reflect on what you have learned, it opens your mind to what you might not have noticed before. I had this very discussion with a work colleague yesterday when we were discussing our insights on a particular work project.
If you don’t ask yourself ‘What have you learned’, you’ll miss out on noticing how you have grown, how your skills have improved and how your experience has developed.
Once you have reflected on your achievements and successes, thought about what didn’t go so well and identified what you have learned, you are ready to ask yourself:
- What don’t I want to change
- What do I want to do more of / keep doing
- What do I want to do less of / stop doing
- What do I want to start doing / do differently
Taking the time to review your 2023 will help you get a better 2024.
Let me know in the comments what you like about this approach.