Self Retrospective

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I discussed earlier about having a set of values that guide your daily actions here: https://babatundeotaru.me/building-your-values/

I also mentioned that it always evolves and it is by no means fixed.

The fact is I can’t always be perfect with sticking to my values, there are always scenarios not initially considered and sometimes the situation happens too fast to remember to apply your values. Reliving these moments and writing the experiences down can help you react better to the same scenario in future.

We currently use this retrospective approach in the company where I work and I found it to be very efficient and I decided to use it also for personal growth.

Sticking to performing retrospectives constantly helps you monitor your progress. You can compare between different points in time to understand how you have improved/declined in an area. It helps create action points for areas for improvement. In general, it helps to create a systematic way for monitoring personal growth.

I perform self retrospective every weekend before the start of a new week and my retro sheet looks like this:

**** What went well ****

**** What didn’t go well ****.

**** Action Items ****

**** Learnings ****

What went well

Here, I write down the things in the week that went well, here are some examples:

  • I liked that I came up with attainable goals following the SMART principles using my Problem Solving Skills
  • I made really good progress with my quarterly goals

What didn’t go well

Here, I write down the things in the week that didn’t go well and I try to capture the scenario as much as possible, here is an example below:

  • Feeling unsatisfied and unmotivated to do things outside of my quarterly goals

Action Items

For each point that didn’t go well, I come up with action plans to fix them. So the action Item for the point above that didn’t go well is:

  • Try to finish quarterly goals for the week early (so it doesn’t serve as a mind blocker) to do other things.

Learnings

Learnings are just extra things I learn during the week, it could be from the books/articles I read, or a quote worth remembering or just an idea that pops in my head etc. Here is an example of one of my weekly learnings:

  • The thoughts, emotions cycle: I don’t think emotions can be controlled, but the thoughts that produce them can be controlled. The cycle goes like this: thoughts -> emotions -> and then back to thoughts. It keeps going in that cycle. Try to catch the thought producing the emotion and try to change it to something positive. It is fine when you don’t catch/change it the first few times but keep trying until you eventually do.

It is also worth noting that sometimes I add/remove/modify from the list of my values after a retro to further prove my point that I am constantly a work in progress and can never be perfect.