Another method of reflection that made a huge impact in my life over the past year is Tim Ferris's year-end review. The end goal is to create three lists - stop, continue, start. Block out an hour and do two activities:
Go through your calendar. Start Jan 1 and look through all 52 weeks.
Go through your contacts. A to Z.
You want to identify the 20% of activities or people that created 80% of the positive emotions and outcomes in your life, and the 20% that created the negative. This should be across both work and personal. Ask yourself:
If I could only do 2 hours of personal or work things a week? What would those be?
What was a waste of time?
What sparked joy?
What stressed me out?
What didn't play to my strengths?
Who inspires and brings out the best in me?
Who brings out the worst in me?
Notice patterns and build out your lists. Here is a sampling of mine:
Going to kid birthday parties of people we aren't close to
Numbing bad feelings instead of processing
Buying too much food at Costco!
Only listening to audio books - buy actual books!
Entertaining (both bigger parties and small play dates)
Keeping with routines (morning, night)
Adventures with the kids (especially 1:1)
Building my network (especially with the Summit and DC startup communities)
Build in more downtime, both in work and life
Treating the root cause vs. the symptoms
Hire a personal assistant to help out 5 hrs/week
Trust me, this will pay off in dividends.