Review Before Resolves

A Fundamental Building Block For Successfully Moving Forward

“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.”

— Margaret J. Wheatley




Today’s Thought: Review Before Resolves

What got me thinking:

  1. ✍️ Tim Ferriss | Forget ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ and conduct a ‘Past Year Review’ Instead

  2. 📚 James Clear | Atomic Habits

  3. 📚 Stephen R. Covey | The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

  4. 📚 Eric Ries | The Lean Startup

Everyone loves New Year’s resolutions. But, bombarded with information and social media, we rarely allow time for structured reflection. Nevertheless, it’s vital.

Self-reflection is a recurring theme in most books I read - like the secret sauce that underlying growth.

📚 Atomic Habits | “…avoid slipping into the trap of complacency. The solution? Establish a system for reflection and review”

📚 The Lean Startup | The Build-Measure-Learn Feedback Loop is the book’s core framework. If we view resolutions as “building”, then we must also “measure” and “learn” from our current progress.

Reviews and reflection are integral to project management, product development, habit-forming, stoic philosophy, investments, religion, employee development, education, etc. Executed correctly, it drives future progress.

Before setting next year’s goals, reflect on how you’re doing.

In addition to other reflections, ask yourself:


1. What’s most critical?

Look through your calendar and note-taking app. Consider your habits, finances, health, vocation, learnings, meetings, etc. Which actions were most significant?

Not all behaviours are created equal. Pareto’s law says 80% of the results stem from 20% of the actions. Filter out distractions. Focusing your efforts, let’s you address the most helpful and harmful areas of life.

Reference: 💡 | The Startup - Focus


2. What’s compounding?

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it earns it ... he who doesn't ... pays it.” — Albert Einstein

“The first rule of compounding is to never interrupt it unnecessarily.” — Charlie Munger

Understanding how compounding works and the concept’s broader application is game-changing. Whatever is currently compounding in your life will eventually become significant - for better or for worse.

Determine what’s compounding in your life at the moment and whether it’s a good thing.

Reference: 💡 | The Startup - Consistency


3. What’s your objective?

Progression requires direction. What are your core priorities, values and goals? Ensure you distinguish between your ultimate goal (e.g. time with family) and the means (e.g. financial stability).

Now, assess whether your answers to (1) and (2) are in or out of sync with your objectives? Some behaviours attain the means whilst detracting from the goal (e.g. money at the expense of your health). These actions invalidate all perceived “progress” as you’ll drift away from your real aims.

Understanding your objective allows you to realign yourself. Determine what’s going well and propelling you in the correct direction. Address the negatives and things pulling you away from your targets.

Reference: 💡 | The Startup - Lifestyle Design


Final Thoughts

“The most dangerous items on your to-do list are the ones that look like opportunities but are actually distractions.” - James Clear.

You can make yourself think you’re progressing by making plans without reflection. But, reviews force us to confront brutal realities, exposing our flaws. They prevent complacency, enhance self-awareness, help us avoid mistakes, and focus our efforts on significant areas.



Yes - I’m The Plug 🔌

The best gift you can give yourself is an honest assessment of how you’re doing. Don’t know where to start? Check out the Annual Planning Workbook - a free resource by Janine Sickmeyer!

Merry Christmas 🎅


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I’m sure the battle will eventually be featured on Business Wars.


♛ | Netflix Advertising? | The Queen’s Gambit And Chess.Com

About two months ago, Netflix released an original series titled The Queens Gambit. The inspirational chess story became their biggest scripted limited series ever. However, the impact had an immense knock-on effect on chess companies. The term “Chess” became searched on Google 2-3x as much as before. Chess.com received 100,000 new players daily. This sudden rise in popularity has been unparalleled over the last 50 years.



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