I love the end of the year for lots of reasons. Personally, I look forward to spending time with family and annual meals out with friends over the holiday season. Professionally, this is a great time of the year to reflect on how I performed during the past 12 months, and begin to look ahead to the coming year with the idea of setting myself up for success.
The best way to jump start your 2013 is to make a commitment to finish 2012 on a strong note. Take the time over the next couple few days to reflect on your past year and use that review as a basis for setting up your goals and action plan for the next year. Here are some suggestions on what to include in your year-end review:
Review your goals for the past year and enjoy the highlights. What were your big wins and accomplishments in 2012? What were those breakthroughs of which you are most proud? Write them down. Reflect on those victories and give yourself the credit you deserve. What patterns or themes can you identify in your personal success stories from this year?
Consider the tough times. There are always several valleys in every year. What were yours? What personal characteristics of yours helped pull you through or overcome those difficult challenges? Consider your failures and disappointments of the past 12 months. What patterns or themes do you notice? What would you change for a better result next time?
Look for the takeaway. At the end of every coaching session I ask my clients what their takeaway is from the session. What are the big lessons you learned in 2012? What is the learning experience (s) from these lessons? Write them down. How will you apply the lessons learned in 2012 to help make you more successful in 2013?
Build on your foundation. However you characterize your past year, all of your successes and failures should be viewed as the building block for the future. Once you’ve completed your reflections on 2012, you should turn your attention to making 2013 the best year ever. My next few blogs will offer some ideas on how to make the most of your action plan for the next twelve months.
I strongly encourage you to spend some serious time on this process in the next few weeks. I know the holidays can be crazy insane, but you will find the time you spend reflecting on 2012 and looking ahead to next year in a meaningful way will energize and excite you about your prospects for the future.