Ahead of the New Year, set aside Time to Reflect

The end of the year can be hectic. Business may rev up or maybe personal to do lists grow in the wake of holiday celebrations, but regardless of how tight your schedule becomes, you should try to set aside time to reflect on the past year and set goals for the next. You may even want to split your reflections in two, dedicating one to personal learnings and one to lessons learned in your professional life.

This doesn’t have to be a several hour-long meditation, but should definitely be productive whether it takes five minutes or fifty – you’re only cheating yourself if you rush it. 

As new business owners, myself and Mario thought it especially important to set aside time to reflect on 2018 – I’d recommend this for anyone running their own company.  Here are some tips based on our experience.

Make the Reflection Enjoyable

This doesn’t have to be treated like homework. In fact, we took time to celebrate successes, remember the past year’s many challenges and even shared what we’d do differently in certain past situations that weren’t ideal. It was helpful to have a calendar to reference and our phones’ photos (I take a lot of pictures) in order to move chronologically. You’ll likely be surprised at how fast time has flown. Keep a pad of paper and pen near to write down thoughts, questions and potential goals for yourself to reference when you’re looking ahead to the next year.

Set Reasonable and Actionable Goals

Goal setting can be an intimidating process. Plus, the last thing you want to do is set unactionable or unfeasible goals that ultimately tee you up for failure over the next year. We started this process after we reflected on 2018. Initially, we treated it like a brainstorm, writing down any goal (personal or professional) on paper to get it all out. Then we talked about them. 

Don’t overload yourself with a list of goals that ends up looking like a glorified to do list. Pick a handful of the most important goals and make them happen. Next, have your 2019 calendar in front of you and assign check-in points or completion dates for these goals. This will help keep you on track. For more complex goals, lay out a strategy to achieve them including several milestones, check-ins or to dos required to get it done.