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How to perform an annual performance review of your life

At this time of the year, you will probably go through the corporate tradition of either receiving your yearly performance review from your boss or giving an annual performance review to those who report to you (or both!).

As unpleasant as the process is, you recognize that it is essential for understanding how your performance is viewed and measured by the company and what expectations they have of you for next year. It’s a powerful and vital process in your career development.

But what if we took the same annual performance review process and applied it to your life?

Over the past couple of years, I’ve been conducting an exercise with my coaching clients that has helped them do just that. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Write down all the roles that you play in your life, such as father/mother and son/daughter.

Step 2: Draw a bar graph and outline the roles you’ve described in Step 1 on the x-axis and the performance, measured from 0 to 100%, on the y-axis.

Step 3: For each of your roles, give yourself a personal performance score from 0 to 100%. How well do you think you’re performing? Remember, this is your own view of how you’re performing. Be honest.

Once you have completed this exercise, take a look at it and reflect on your performance:

- How do you grade your overall performance across your roles?

- Which areas do you feel need improvement?

- Can you perform 100% in any or all of the roles? If no, what choices or sacrifices can you make between the roles to ensure some balance between them? For example, if you’re over-performing in one domain but under-performing in another, how can you rebalance your performance?

Whenever I’ve conducted this exercise with clients, it becomes an eye-opener for them. They immediately recognize the gaps in their lives, where they need to upgrade their performance and where they need to downgrade their performance to live a more holistic, meaningful life.

This exercise also brings about some interesting coaching discussions, such as

1.) What is the minimum performance level that’s expected of me for each of my roles?

2.) What happens when specific roles become more critical due to external events? For example, the expectations of the role of son/daughter suddenly go up when your parents become old or sick.

3.) What performance level do others expect of me, and is there a mismatch in expectations?

4.) What does God expect of me?

Taking time out to do this exercise and have these conversations with a coach, family member, or friend can open up a new awareness of where you are today and where you need to be.

Mohammed Faris is an international coach, author, and speaker who helps executives, professionals, and entrepreneurs rebalance their lives spiritually, physically and socially to achieve peak performance and live meaningful lives. He’s the founder of and author of The Productive Muslim: Where Faith Meets Productivity.

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Mohammed Faris