How to Review Goals – Steal My Process for a Successful New Year

The end of the year is the time when people set their goals for the coming year. I see this is a habit for many people around me. But the goal-setting process is not everything. There is one more thing that makes the difference in making progress year over year.

The end-of-year goal review process is the missing puzzle piece.

I will walk you through my yearly goal review process because I know how important it is. This ties in with how I ask for feedback and the framework I use to make impactful changes.

Why is it important?

  1. Setting goals is essential. But it is as important as tracking their progress and measuring achievements.
  2. Feedback is one of the most valuable personal growth drivers that you can use for your end-of-year goal review. You can ask for feedback from those around you, both professionally and personally.
  3. Next, using your review and feedback conclusions make intentional changes. I’ll explain how I do this.

My experience has shown that most people who fail to see results are those who do not review their progress regularly. They may set goals every year, but they don’t revisit them. Also, they do not prioritize actions that bring them closer to their goals.

As I often say, it isn’t easy to see the forest for the trees when you’re in the middle of them all. This is how it feels when you don’t ask for feedback on a regular basis. It becomes one of the biggest reasons for lack of progress. 

I’ve seen people fail to make significant changes in their lives because they are not intentional about their actions. Perhaps you, too, find yourself relying on wishful thinking rather than action. If this is the case, pick a framework or a process and stick to it.

Simply put:

Why bother setting goals if you are not going to take any action to meet them?

Read further to find out more about:

  • My goals and KPIs review process and the questions I ask myself 
  • How I ask for feedback from clients, partners, and peers
  • The framework I use for making impactful changes in my life.

How does reviewing my goals and KPIs looks like

For me, every beginning of the year starts with goal setting. What I do is set yearly and quarterly goals and break them down into milestones. This is what I advise you to do as well.


  1. Every week and day, I keep my goals top of mind. I prioritize my activities based on what will bring me closer to meeting them.

    I do goal-setting for the following areas of my life:
  • Professional life – these goals refer to projects I want to take on and areas I want to learn more about. 
  • Financial area – I do financial planning for my business, but I also do it for my personal finances. They overlap to a certain degree. 
  • Growth & development – this is an important one for me. I look at personal growth as the foundation for building everything else. It supports both my professional and personal goals. 
  • Personal life – here, I include health-related goals as well as how I want to develop my personal relations.

2. Once I’ve established my goals, I go a step further and set KPIs associated with most of them. When you link KPIs to your goals, you can better track their completion rate. 

3. At the end of each quarter, I thoroughly review all of my goals. This helps me see where I am and if the progress I’ve made is in line with the time I have left in the year.

4. The big review, however, is at the end of the year. That’s when I do a thorough session to really reflect on what I’ve accomplished.

Goals and KPIs review

The 4th step requires a more in-depth look, so let’s dive into it!

You might think this is easy. 

Cristiana, why would you spend several hours staring at your goals? It takes a few minutes to see whether they are achieved or not.

You’re right – this part never takes longer than 30 minutes. Every quarter, month, and day, I track my progress. Why? So that by the end of the year, I know exactly where I am and don’t have to dig for data.

The insightful part is looking at the unachieved goals and really asking myself the following set of questions:

  • Why did I not achieve my goal?
  • Was my goal even important to begin with? Did I focus on the right thing?
  • Did my goal become irrelevant during the year, and if so, why?
  • What could I have done differently, and when to achieve my goal?
  • What habits can I put in place from here on to make sure I achieve this kind of goal in the future?

In fact, the answers to these questions provide me with real value and motivate me to improve my ability to set and meet relevant goals.

How do I ask for feedback and why is this key to becoming more valuable? 

If you’re anything like me, you always look for ways to provide more value to those you serve in your business. To be able to do this ongoingly, I ask for feedback on my work and input. It’s something I do regularly. 

I ask those who benefit from my services to tell me how well I did and where I can improve. It makes no difference if I believe I did an excellent job if it was not valuable to my clients and teams. 

As you may have noticed, I usually take things a step forward, so I do not simply ask for feedback from my clients. I do the same with the teams I work with. I consider them my clients as well. The systems and structures I create are intended to make their work more impactful and effective.

There are two steps I take in the process of asking for feedback:

  1. Asking the questions
  2. Analyzing the answers to see how I can improve

Here are the questions I like to ask regularly:

  • What is working / not working in our collaboration?
  • How can I support you more to meet your goals? What would you need from me?
  • What are the things I support you with that if I stopped, would have no negative impact?
  • What area(s) do I need to improve to positively impact our collaboration (bring more value to our partnership)?

How I use the answers to generate more value:

  • I carefully listen to and take notes on the feedback I receive.
  • I focus especially on the part that is not working or can be improved. That is the actionable piece and also the key to growth and development. 
  • I incorporate the feedback into my goals or simply turn it into actions I need to take.
  • When working with founders and leaders, the most common thing they need more of is time. They may express it in various ways, but ultimately it translates into more time.
    • I address this by improving existing processes and systems or developing new ones.
    • Sometimes the solution is simplification, which means getting rid of excess and refocusing. That is my favorite solution to work on. “Less is more!” is my motto.

One of my values is growth and development, so receiving feedback to act on is extremely valuable to me. It fuels my desire to learn more and grow while also supporting those around me in doing so. There is nothing more satisfying to me than growing together with my clients, partners and team members. It’s a way to strengthen our collaboration and to benefit everyone.

As a founder or leader, it is extremely important to be open to feedback. Even more so it’s important to ask for it yourself and act on it when it suggests improvement is desired.

How do I make impactful changes? 

There are numerous ways to ask for feedback. One of my favorite methods is the Stop, Start, Keep Doing framework, which you may have heard of. Let me show you how I use it to categorize the things that need to change in order to have a positive impact.

The Stop, Start, Keep Doing framework

I usually work with this framework once a year, when I review the previous year and begin planning for the next. I occasionally do another review during the year, especially when the context changes dramatically in the middle of the year.

Here’s how:

  1. After reviewing goals and KPIs, I draw conclusions and insights. I also include the feedback I received.
  2. I then classify all of the above as follows:
  • Stop Doing
    • I list everything I don’t want to do anymore because it doesn’t serve my goals or even prevents me from making progress.
    • It could be anything from small things that I believe will make a difference, like reading too much news or working on weekends.
    • Stop doing is an opportunity to put specific feedback from my clients into action. You’ve probably noticed that I ask this exact question, which is why I’m always looking for ways to simplify my work.
  • Start Doing
    • I include everything I previously discovered that would increase my odds to achieve my objectives.
    • I do the same for my clients’ goals; I consider what else I can do to better support them in achieving their objectives.
  • Keep doing 
    • These are the things I have been doing for a while and proved to generate good results. 
    • I’ll keep doing these things and maybe tweak them a little for better performance.
    • Setting KPIs for both professional and personal activities and tracking them consistently is how I know what works and what doesn’t.
    • Over time, the ideal is to have more items under Keep Doing and fewer under the others. This is an indication of actioned feedback as well as consistency.

If you’ve done your homework on goal review and feedback, the Stop, Start, Keep Doing framework is quite simple to apply. It allows you to draw some useful conclusions about how your next year should look in terms of actions.

Final advice – schedule your end of year goal review

Learning theoretical aspects is one thing. More knowledge is better when you turn that theory into action. So, if we’re in any way alike, you know taking action is the single most powerful thing for creating impactful change.

There are three steps I recommend you take today! The best way to make significant changes is the following: 

  1. To set better goals next year, you need to understand what did not work well this year. 
  2. Take a look at your calendar and schedule your 2-3 hours yearly goals review session. 
  3. Use my process or build your own. What really matters is that you do not delay it any further. 

Here’s to a year full of accomplishments! 

Let’s have a goal review session together!

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