The new year is just around the corner, and while that can feel super exciting, it can also get us a little too excited.
We build up our ambitions and think that at midnight, December 31, 2022, we’re magically going to become different people.
It is such a BUMMER that we get stuck in all this wishful thinking!!!
I mean, I love when things feel magical.
But I prefer to feel the magic of making things actually happen in my business instead of just wishing for magic to happen to me.
Wishful thinking ignores the fact that you just lived one powerful, impactful, and important year and fails to acknowledge your progress and move you forward in a meaningful way.
I also think that all that wishing and excitement leads to us over-preparing for the new year in ways that don’t end up lasting or helping us in our lives or business in the long run.
Don’t order the planner. Don’t download the newest organization app. Don’t create a new fancy color-coded calendar system you’ll never actually use. Don’t put up an ad on UpWork for a new VA. Don’t spend your holidays cleaning out your files.
Don’t do any of these typical ‘new year’ activities until you do this:
Set aside ONE HOUR and do a quick, intentional reflection on the past year that you can use to inform how you move into the new one.
In this blog, I’m sharing my three-phase process for doing just that. Coming up in a couple of weeks, I’ll share my annual planning process that you can use as your next step in preparing for your new year — realistically.
Before we celebrate the New Year, let’s celebrate the good ol’ year you just lived!
Look back at each season (or quarter if you wanna be profesh and fancy about it) of this year — Winter (Q1), Spring (Q2), Summer (Q3), and Fall (Q4).
What major goal did you accomplish in each season of 2022?
Write down what you absolutely knocked out of the park. Take it one step further by adding WHY you feel so proud of each major accomplishment. How long have you been working on the goals you hit this year? What did it take to get there?
Acknowledge your hard work and celebrate the grit it took to get to where you are today!
Look back at each season again and ask yourself:
What is the biggest obstacle I overcame in each season of this year?
As entrepreneurs, our lives and businesses intertwine. So, when you think of the obstacles you overcame, they might be personal or professional. They also may be internal or external. Maybe you overcame your fear of public speaking and were a guest on three podcasts. Perhaps you experienced a major disappointment over a missed opportunity in business…and you KEPT ON GOING!!! These experiences are just as important to celebrate as your achievements this year.
I don’t like to dwell on the things I wish would have gone differently or that I wish I had never done, but I do like to give them a little space at the end of the year.
When we recognize our regrets, we can make decisions about the new year that will keep us from doing the same things again. Your regrets can also bring your attention to the things that matter to you. This is similar to how what you envy about others draws your attention to ways you might like to grow, expand, or change your life.
As you reflect, remember: You’re human, and regrets are just part of being human. They don’t have to eat you alive or bring you down!
Questions to reflect on:
What DID you do that you regret most from this year?
What will you do in the new year to avoid doing that again?
What DIDN’T you do that you regret most from this year?
What will you do in the new year to make sure you DO the thing you regret missing out on?
I believe that there’s no one right way to do everything in business. I believe there are ways that work and ways that don’t — and those are different for everyone!
Think back through the year and consider what habits, routines, actions, thoughts, growth, strategies, systems, and investments worked for you.
What worked well for you this year?
What results did those things produce in your life or business (aka, how do you know they worked well)?
What did you learn from these experiences?
You’ll want to repeat these things in the new year. This might seem obvious, but I find that many entrepreneurs forget about things that have gone well for them and try to reinvent the wheel repeatedly in their businesses. Note what went well that you could plan on doing again in the new year.
Now, think through those same things again and reflect on what didn’t work for you:
What didn’t work for you this year?
What results did those things produce in your life or business (aka, how do you know they didn’t work)?
What did you learn from these experiences?
In my next blog post, I’ll show you how to take your past year’s reflections and incorporate them into an annual plan that you’ll be able to follow throughout 2023.
And if you aren’t in love with the idea of planning your year alone, I’m here to help!
Inside my Strategic Planning Sessions, we take an intensive dive into the areas of reflection I covered in this blog and go deeper into the measurables, metrics, and messy bits of your business that you want to clean up in the new year.
This session is perfect for you if you want to get an Ops pro’s perspective on the most streamlined way to approach your business so that you can grow and scale sustainably in the new year.
December 13, 2022