The 1st of January each year brings a flurry of new years resolutions – which have often fallen by the wayside by the 2nd of January!

Rather than picking an unrealistic resolution, I prefer to follow a retrospective style review.


At this time of year we tend to apply this thinking to our personal life, often linked to personal goals.

Some of the traditional ones…..looking back at 2016 did I put on weight? Then set an unrealistic goal to lose lots – or perhaps you aim for a dry January to detox – but reaching for the wine by Friday?

What put the wind in your sails?

Is it not better to look back on what went well in 2016 (perhaps you achieved some sporting goals – I know I did, cycling twice as far as the year before).

What’s been holding you back? 

Then you can consider what things were holding you back (the anchor in the boat picture), and think about how you can reduce the dragging effect they are having.

What challenges have you had that stopped you?

Next consider the obstacles (the iceberg) that stopped you achieving your goals. You’ll find that some of them were things you were aware of (above the sea line), and others you only realised afterwards.

You can then use this picture to help you set some realistic goals for 2017 – noting things that you can change to reduce the drag from the anchor along with some mitigating actions to prevent you hitting the iceberg.

Unlike the rush to set new years resolutions only once a year – why not review your progress towards your goals on a regular basis (perhaps monthly) and adjust them, to make the most of changes you can make throughout the year.

While you’re at it – if you haven’t tried this approach at work, then now is a great time to start. Lesson’s learned can be truly adopted if you review and learn from them regularly throughout your projects. Take time on a regular basis to hold a retrospective with your team, then collectively agree how you can adjust and change to deliver more effectively. You won’t be able to change everything at once, but if you regularly identify one or two things you could try to see if they help will over time enable you to make great changes.

If you’d like to find out more about running different styles of retrospectives, then please contact Jude, or give her a call to discuss how we can deliver a workshop for you to help improve your retrospectives.