Guest Post by Martha Duesterhoft

Can you believe that it is 2015? Where did 2014 go?

It’s time to take a look in the rear-view mirror.

I know many people follow a tradition of making New Year Resolutions … I’m not really one of those people.

However, I do think it’s important to take time to reflect on the year past and consciously note the key learning about what went well and what didn’t turn out as we hoped in an effort to recognize what we want to repeat and the things we want to approach differently going forward.

Basically, this is like conducting your personal After Action Review (AAR) for the past year.

If you’re not familiar with an AAR, here are some questions to ask yourself to get started:

  • What were the key events of 2014? (High points and low points)
  • What were your goals for 2014? (If you didn’t have any, that may suggest to create some for 2015)
  • What was supposed to happen? (Based on goals or hopes/dreams)
  • What actually happened?
  • If there were differences in how you responded to those two questions, what contributed to those differences?
  • What worked well?
  • What didn’t work well?
  • How would you summarize your experiences in 2014? (Tell a story about the year)
  • What advice would your give yourself? (This may be easier to think about in terms of identifying what you would START doing, STOP doing and CONTINUE to do)

I would suggest you put this in writing so you can readily go back and review the notes when you get into the thick of 2015.

This is not only a good practice for reflecting on your professional life — it’s just as important to reflect on your personal life. After all, you are a WHOLE person and if you are achieving what you want in your personal life, it definitely has a positive impact on your professional life!

So here’s my plan:  I’m going to take time today to review my 2014 and make plans for making my 2015 even better!

What about you? Are you with me?

Note from Bob:  I love Martha’s questions!  You might want to involve your whole team in answering them as your review 2014 and make plans for 2015!

Martha Duesterhoft

Martha Duesterhoft is a Partner with PeopleResults, a consultancy that guides organizations and individuals to “start the wave” of change. Martha provides executive coaching with a focus on leadership behaviors and has worked on various projects with clients including PepsiCo, Microsoft, McKesson, Bell Helicopter, Catholic Charities, Texas Christian University and many others on how to realize results through people. Martha is an instructor for Southern Methodist University’s Executive Education. Contact her at mduesterhoft@people-results.com or follow her on Twitter @mduesterhoft.

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2 thoughts on “How About A Little After Action Review of Your 2014?

  1. Heather Nelson says:

    Great questions, Martha, to use now or at any time during the year. Thanks for the post.

  2. Shelli Walker says:

    Martha,
    Great BLOG. Very good practice for work & life.

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