May 26, 2019

ASK IH: Do you regularly review your life and goals?

Simon Mannes @simonme

A few months ago I started doing small weekly retrospectives for my different projects and immediately got useful information and action items out of them.
Do you do retrospectives? How often? In which areas of your life? And what questions do you ask (yourself}? Share your experiences!


  1. 3

    For me, in the age of Social Media and Information overload, I try to declutter my life on a daily and more often, weekly basis. I ask myself:

    • Do I really need this?
      By removing the unessential, I am now able to focus more on the essential things.

    Another good question I ask is:

    • What do I really need?
      This is especially important when building/ being creative. You most times only need as little as possible to get things done. You don't have to figure it all from the start.
  2. 2


    • On a weekly basis, I review my weekly plan and assign pomodoros to some of the project I want to focus.

    • I track and save all the pomodoro I did during my week, for what project, in an excel sheet.

    I track a lot of things, but I don't track everything, to allow me some freedom (and 'cause I think some unknown in life is good). For example I don't track how long I do sport, but I have well build habits which push me to, at least, try to do sport every day.

    • On a much more macro level, I read (and sometimes modify) every week my visions, what I try to do in my life.

    This is important to me: I believe that my life needs to be actively lived, not passively. These are the big goals, the one which drive my motivation. Most of them are lifetime goals, my main principles I try to follow every day, my main motto.

    • On top of all of that, I write a journal every day where I mainly write positive things.

    For example: what did I achieve today? What good things happened? How was my mood? I think negative things are useful to progress, but I don't need to write them somewhere; I see them and remember them enough, way more than the positive, which is I think is something we experience all, more or less. We are tuned to see the negative. It helps me a lot keeping my motivation and, even if my day was bad, there are always positive things to be proud about when you think about it.

    • I write a lot of other stuff (I love writing): feedback from other (positive and negative) I associate to some projects, outcome (bad and good) of the same projects...
  3. 2

    I do!

    I started probably 4 years ago by doing this with a few friends over skype -

    Out of it, I have a crazy color coded trello board with all my wishes, dreams, desires, goals.
    I do a retrospective every quarter on it. I have a google doc where I write down my thoughts. The length differs - I write about what I completed, what I didn't complete and why, and sometimes goals that I no longer am interested in. Some quarters are great! Other quarters I end up writing about depression and anxiety affecting my goals and revising my goals the next quarter to focus more on getting healthy.

    Besides that, I do some general routine weekly planning as well, but it's much more on the fly. I usually try and get 3 big goals accomplished.

    This week

    1. Spend the next week on building out content for my new project

    2. Gym 3x this week, 10k steps other days

    3. New blog post published on my personal website, but really the goal here is to make a “writing half hour” or something. Even if I don’t finish it next week, if I do the writing TIME I’ll be happy.

    4. start Golang Udemy course, do 30 minutes a day

  4. 1

    I'm doing this startup on solo mode. So everyday, there's a feeling of uncertainty.

    1. 1

      Know that feeling. Meditation helped me the most so far to reduce the bad effects of uncertainty and co.

  5. 1

    I'm a huge fan of weekly retrospectives. I even started a podcast (The Cocoa Nomad Podcast) to share them (along with other tips) to encourage others to do the same. I try to include all aspects of my life to ensure that it presents a holistic view (our lives are more than just our work).

  6. 1

    I do regular retrospectives for my master thesis and personal development. It always results in insights into my progress, where I should set my focus to and what I want to improve.
    It also lets me see things I can cut out of my life, to save time or mental load.

    My favorite questions are:

    • What have I achieved last week?
    • What went well?
    • How satisfied am I with my progress?
    • What can I improve?
    • What should I focus on in the coming week?
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