Many of us are familiar with the annual practice of performance reviews. And each year when those pop up you might get a little anxious going into it. A lot of that could likely be resolved by you taking time every week to track your goals, wins, and challenges. This way you go into these conversations confident in what you’ve contributed to your company over the last year. Beyond being helpful when your review comes up, it is also a great way to personally track your growth so you can eloquently take about your experiences to future employers. So what does this type of tracking look like? We’ve broken it down into five easy steps.

Step 1: Write a Weekly Recap

This is where you will want to write down everything, and we mean EVERYTHING you did that week. This will be a place where you can go back and reference how long a project took or when you received more ownership of a task. The other thing this will help you track is your time management and where you are really spending most of your time.

Step 2: Celebrate Your Wins

We know sometimes weeks can feel a little mundane but that means there isn’t always something you accomplished. Whether it’s for your annual review or a revamp of your resume or LinkedIn profile, this section will come particularly in handy down the road. And remember this is just for your records, so don’t be shy, brag on yourself, don’t downplay anything by thinking “well, that’s just job”. Our biggest tip on this section, include as many details and stats as you can, trust us after a few weeks even, those will likely be harder to recall.

Step 3: Acknowledge Your Challenges

Challenges or sometimes we refer to them as weaknesses area is where you keep track of any hiccups or missteps you might’ve encountered each week. This is a place for you to reflect on things you want to improve on. The other thing this section will be revealed are skills you might want to take a class or course on. For every challenge be proactive and write down how you might remedy moving forward, this gives you an action plan to follow for personal and professional growth.

Step 4: Next Steps

You might be mentally headed to the weekend already but we promise this step can be a real cure for the Mondays. Take the time Friday to think about your tasks for the following week. Reflect on tasks you might not have finished or weren’t a priority for completion this week. This is when you’ll be able to most clearly remember things for the next week or might otherwise forget. It also helps you keep track of how long certain tasks take you to complete which can be a helpful metric come review time.

Step 5: Set Big Goals

This is where you think big! Anytime you’ve had a conversation that starts with something like “one day we will” or “if we find the time it would be great to”, keep running track of those things here. The best part of this is that as you find downtime, this will be a great place to reference for items you can take the initiative on exploring.