In today’s video, I’m going to talk about my yearly review process. I’m going to show you exactly how to do one for yourself and how this can help you achieve your goals in overcoming retroactive and obsessive jealousy this new year.

Read on to learn more about the tips for making a yearly review practice.

Zachary Stockill: As I talk to you today, I’m feeling even more optimistic, excited, and energized about my life, the future, and the world than usual. And the reason is that I just got back from my annual yearly review.

Yearly review practice: some of you have probably heard this term before or have been familiar with this idea. I’m basing a lot of the content in this video on my own process, which I borrowed from one of my mentors, Caleb Jones. He writes a lot about productivity, business, and time management. I’ve gotten a lot of valuable information from him, but I’m also throwing in a couple of other ideas from other sources as well.

Again, the idea of the yearly review practice is not new, and there are a lot of different ideas out there about how to conduct a yearly review.

So, the idea is, you go away somewhere out of your usual everyday zone. For example, you want to get out of your apartment, to do this, go somewhere not far away, but far enough away from your usual zone. So you can think a little more clearly, get new ideas, and you can sort of look back on your life with a bit more perspective and a bit more distance.

Everyone can do this differently, depending on you, your needs, and your situation in life. For me, this involved this year as it did last year, going away, a 45-minute drive away, going to a hotel, and isolating myself from the world for a few days. I told my girlfriend not to contact me unless it’s an emergency and I also told my friends I’m not available for the next few days. I blocked off my coaching calendar. And, I was unavailable for coaching for three days, I made sure I blocked off those days.

The basic idea is to get away from your friends, your family, and your spouse, go somewhere quiet where you don’t usually go, where you don’t spend a lot of time, and somewhere where you can think and reflect.

So, get yourself to this place where there are no distractions, there’s no family, friends, or people calling you. Hopefully, you have a clear work schedule. When you get yourself to this place, it’s time to ask yourself a few crucial questions about the past year, as well as look at the year ahead.

By the way, I usually do this in December, but some people want to do this in the first week or two of January. Personally, I think it’s better to do this sooner rather than later because I want to hit January running. I think it’s a good idea to do this toward the end of the year. The first part of your yearly review practice can simply be what went right this year. What did I do well in the past 12 months, as it relates to my career, family, relationship, fitness, and diet goals? Everyone has different goals. We’re focusing on different areas of our life depending on where we’re at, depending on our particular goals or challenges, and each particular moment.

Look back and think about what went well. If you set goals the year previously, look back on those goals, pull out that note and ask yourself, did I accomplish certain goals? If I didn’t hit certain goals, did I at least make progress? Don’t beat yourself up for not reaching your goals, as long as you made progress, give yourself a pat on the back.

The next part is giving yourself a pat on the back.

Looking back on what you accomplished in the past year, look at all the things you got done. You can write them in a list. I did this just a couple of days ago, as I was saying, I wrote down the book that I wrote and the meditation series that I put out, I took a moment in my own little way to give myself a pat on the back to realize that I accomplished a lot in 2021 and I should feel good about that.

You should feel good about yourself if you accomplish certain tasks in the past year that are important to you. I find that we often don’t give ourselves the credit we deserve as human beings. We don’t want to seem like we’re bragging, or we don’t want to seem arrogant, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having that moment for yourself. Looking back on your past accomplishments, and taking a minute to kind of celebrate them in a certain sense after you do that.

Well, this next part is not as fun, but it’s absolutely essential.

Look back in the past year, and you can ask yourself, what went wrong? Where did I fall short? Where did I fail to live up to my own expectations? For me, there were areas in my life where I didn’t live up to my own expectations over the past year. Number one is weight gain, which has been a struggle for me through my whole life. Some of that is muscle, I’ve been lifting a lot this year, and I feel good about that, but my diet got a little sloppy. One glass of wine at night turned into two, sometimes three. The point is, you look back on the past 12 months with a clear eye, be your own coach and ask yourself, “where did I fall short?”.

Indeed, if you’re a retroactive jealousy sufferer, you can look back in the past year and think where you made progress and where you slipped up, where you made mistakes and what you can do better than next year.

The next part of this exercise can be in the next 12 months. What do I want to accomplish? What are my yearly goals for the new year, and as my friend Caleb Jones says, “Don’t give yourself an impossible task. Don’t give yourself 10,15, 20 yearly goals”.

Personally, I have three big goals for the New Year. They’re challenging goals, but I think it’s a good idea to focus on three. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Push yourself, but don’t be unrealistic.

So, this is just an example. It depends on your unique goals, challenges for the new year, and unique priorities.

Therefore, for my annual goals, I have one sort of creativity/productivity goal, certain things that I need want to get done for the new year. My number two goal is a fitness goal, physical fitness, you’ll probably be able to see if you keep watching these videos, whether or not I hit that goal. But that’s my plan and I have a plan on how to get there. And finally, I have a slightly more abstract personal development goal, just some different shifts in my thinking that I want to adopt and sort of cultivate over the next 12 months. But my goal shouldn’t be your goals, you can ask yourself, what is important to you over the next 12 months. Where do you want to be a year from now on?

The next part of this exercise is trying to imagine how it would feel in your bones, emotionally in your body, in your brain, and in your soul if you accomplished these goals in the new year. It’s not enough to merely say, “It’d be great if I completely overcame retroactive jealousy”. That’s not good enough. Ask yourself, how would that actually feel? How would I hold myself up in the world slightly differently if this wasn’t an issue for me anymore? If I was totally beyond all this nonsense in my head.

The point is to try to get a comprehensive picture of how that would actually feel emotionally to accomplish these goals. Using images can be great for this.

Creating a vision board and quotation marks on your phone filled with images of anything you want that inspire you, that motivate you. And in this particular case, images that are associated, even if it’s an abstract association with the accomplishment of your goals. If you use an iPhone, I’m sure many Android phones do this as well, and you put a bunch of pictures in a folder, it’ll actually create a slideshow for you with music, and its very nice cuts and zoom-ins. It’s great. So use technology to your advantage.

This kind of thing, relying on images can be really helpful.

Finally, think about how are you going to reach that destination. It’s not enough to come up with goals and to get excited about accomplishing your goals, you have to put together a roadmap. And if you don’t have a roadmap, you can put together a plan for how you’re going to find a roadmap. This all depends on your goals.

If you’re not going to reach your destination without a map, find a map for your goals. Get specific as you can about how you’re going to follow that map to your goals and get excited about the new year.

I love the spirit of renewal of yearly review practice, and you can raise a glass and everyone’s excited about a New Year and a new trip around the sun.

And it’s a great holiday, a great opportunity to pause, reflect and envision a better future.

Zachary Stockill
Zachary Stockill

Hi! I'm a Canadian author and educator whose work has been featured in BBC News, BBC Radio 4, The Huffington Post, and many other publications. I'm the founder of, the author of Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy and The Overcoming Jealousy Workbook, and the host of Humans in Love podcast.