There are natural times during the year that are optimal for reflection and planning. We are currently at one of those inflection points now. Personally I enjoy the discipline of pause-reflect-reset. But if detailed planning and goal setting is not your ‘thing’, then at least use this opportunity to learn from the year past so that you can put your best foot forward for the new year ahead.
Here are some thought provoking questions to get you going –
How have you made a difference this year? And was it in ways that mattered to you?
What matters less is the scale. You may have improved your company’s bottom-line in a significant way, inspired your team to new heights of excellence, or made a difference to just one single person. What matters more is that you did make a difference in a positive way. And that it was meaningful to you.
What did you learn from your most recent failure?
If you haven’t failed at something recently, then you’re probably not stretching far enough outside your comfort zone. Successful leaders don’t fear failure. They view failure as feedback and part of their journey to success. Thomas Edison captures this sentiment well when he said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”.
What’s your growth plan going forward?
A mistake people often make is not taking ownership of their own growth. Corporate learning and development programs are a great start. However, to fully realise your potential, you have to conduct your own development audit based on your personal and professional goals. Set aside a budget to invest in your own growth. The company has given you a job, but it’s your career and your life.
How much progress did you make towards your most important goals?
There must be progress made! Big or small steps, it doesn’t matter, but there has got to be momentum towards your important goals. And if there isn’t, then this is the perfect opportunity to pause-reflect-reset to prevent this from happening again next year.
How can you better nurture the important relationships in your life?
The promotion, professional accolades and money you’ve earned this year – none of this matters if it came at the cost of crucial relationships in your life. Relationships are living things. They need to be nurtured with constant care and attention. Put them aside for too long and there might be nothing left when you finally return to them.
What was your biggest win, and did you celebrate it?
It’s time to give yourself a big hand of applause. If you’re like most people, you’ve had your fair share of tough times. So whatever that win is – big or small – put some joy into your life and make sure you celebrate it!
Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20. I hope these questions have given you some food for thought as we approach yet another new beginning!