The year 2021 is coming to an end. Rather than mourn the passing of another calendar year, this is a great time to review the past 365 days and make plans for an even better 2022. If you have big aspirations for the future, the best time to start is today.

This guide will help you take stock of your past year while laying a firm foundation for the year to come. By doing so, you’ll kick off the new year on the right foot and accomplish so much more thanks to proper preparation and foresight:

Check Out Your Time Analytics

If you’ve been using Calendar all year, you’ll have detailed time analytics for the entirety of 2021. For example, you can see how much time you spent in work meetings, how successfully you kept a work-life balance, and just how much exercise you contributed to your 2021 New Year’s resolution. Time analytics provide concrete numerical values to help you measure your progress and plan for the next year. Otherwise, you’re making generalized guesses that might not be as effective.

Use the data you get from Calendar time analytics to set goals and make plans for 2022. For example, you can keep yourself accountable for daily and weekly exercise by tracking your exercise time. In addition, you can set a variety of other goals, such as dedicating more time each week to operate a side hustle or making your work meetings more concise and effective.

Of course, if you aren’t using Calendar’s time analytics tool yet, now is the perfect time to start. Tracking your time is an excellent goal for 2022. You’ll improve your time management and increase your productivity by learning to manage your schedule more effectively and be intentional about making plans and executing them.

Ask Someone Close to You

No one will be able to reflect on your progress throughout 2021 better than the people closest to you. Adding their perspective to yours will paint a clearer picture of the changes you successfully made over the course of the year. In addition, family, friends, and peers can also point out things you might not have even noticed about your progression throughout 2021.

Examples of people you can talk to include your significant other, work supervisor, roommate, or coworker. Ask them what they think you have improved on since last January. Start by asking something specific, like if your roommate noticed that you did a better job doing the dishes after making it a goal to improve upon. Then, ask for open-ended commentary to see what other things the people in your life have noticed the change about you.

For example, your set goal might have been to take an educational course once a month to help you become better at your job. Your supervisor may have noticed you increased your job performance, but also noted that you got better at problem-solving and critical thinking due to your goal-getting. Getting this feedback will show you just how far you’ve come and fueled the fire for an even greater 2022.

Recognize Your Shortcomings

Nobody is perfect. There will be goals you were unable to meet and mistakes you made throughout the year. This is just fine. What’s important now is recognizing where you fell short in 2021 and trying to be better next year.

Many New Year’s resolutions fizzle out after a few short months. This could very well have happened to you. Maybe you had set a goal to get to bed at a reasonable hour every night, which lasted until March when late-night Netflix watching got the best of you. It’s too late to go back now, so take note of what caused you to fall short of your goal and use the experience to improve yourself.

Some shortcomings are simply out of your control. For instance, one of your goals for 2021 could have been to receive a work promotion that just didn’t pan out in your favor, despite all of your best efforts. So instead of feeling bitter about it, look for ways to learn from the experience and try a new approach to get that promotion you deserve in 2022.

Look at Other Records

Just like when you looked at your Calendar and your time analytics, there are other records you can look back on to review the past year. Your financial records are an excellent example. Ask yourself some questions to evaluate how 2021 was on your wallet and bank account. How well did you stick to a budget? Did you take on any new debt you need to account for in 2022? How are your investments doing?

Medical records, legal documents, journal entries, and notes you’ve taken at work or school can also show you everything 2021 has to offer. This information can show you how you can improve your help, what you learned in the past year, or simply show you that you need to get more organized if you want 2022 to be any better.

If you want a more creative look back on the year 2021, take a look at your Spotify Wrapped or a compilation of your social media posts from the past 12 months. You’ll get to look back on some fond memories and remember all of the good times you had throughout the year despite the many challenges we have all been facing as of late.

When you’re counting down seconds until the new year, take the time to remember all the good and bad moments of the past year that have made you better and stronger. Taking stock of those past 365 days will help you see just how far you’ve come and help you prepare to make the next year an even better one.

Image Credit: Olya Kobruseva; Pexels; Thank you!