In a day or two, I’ll be posting about business goals for the new year. But first let’s reflect upon the year that’s drawing to a close.
Too often we start our New Year’s resolutions with thoughts like “This is the year I’ll finally get to the gym three times a week” or “I wonder how many weeks this resolution will last?”
Reflecting on the months behind you can help you look forward with more optimism. Too often we minimize our accomplishments and magnify our shortcomings.
Here are some questions that might help you look at 2011 both thoughtfully and productively. You may want to get a notebook and paper, or you might just want to take some time to sit and think about these questions. My focus here is on business, but of course, it’s a wonderful time to reflect on all aspects of your life.
- What did I accomplish in my business this year?
- Of which accomplishments am I especially proud?
- What did I want to do in 2011 that didn’t get done? Is this (or are these) still important to me? If so, why? And if so, how can I create a plan, with baby steps, to accomplish this?
- What business activities did I do that didn’t serve me? How can I eliminate or reduce those activities in 2012?
- Which business activities served me better than I had anticipated? How can I do more of them in 2012?
- Who helped me in my business this year?
This is also a great time, of course, to reflect with appreciation on your clients and customers.
And, last but not least, be sure to reflect with appreciation on you! Your business would not be what it is if someone else were running it.
As you look back on 2011, it may be tempting to get upset with yourself over things you didn’t do, and real or imagined faults. But if you’ve still got a business to run in 2012 (I’m not talking about money here, I’m talking about the gifts you have to offer people), give yourself a pat on the back and know that you’re now shining even brighter than you did a year ago as you get ready to ring in the new year.