The month of December is a busy time for most people and their families. It’s also the darkest time of the year during which we have far more hours of darkness that light on any given day — that is until just after the Winter Solstice, which takes place on December 21. After that, the days start to get longer again until the Summer Solstice next June.
These dark, cold nights make it a perfect time to reflect on your business over the past year, and figure out what you want to create in the New Year. No matter how you may personally feel about New Year resolutions, the first day of a new year is a natural time for new beginnings. But before you can set out to create the new, you need to reflect on the old.
Because what you don’t know can bite you in the you-know-what. Seriously. Have you ever had a stretch of time when you weren’t carefully reviewing your finances and your spending habits only to find you didn’t have as much money as you thought you did? Have you ever ignored what you’ve been eating, figuring, “Well, I’ve eaten pretty healthfully,” only to get on the scale and notice your weight has crept up a few pounds? It’s only by paying attention that we can get better at what we’re doing and that means reflection. Here are some reason why that year-end review is so important along with some specific steps to take as you move forward:
Look over you goals from the past year. What did you complete? What did you never manage to get around to, even though you keep saying you want to do it? What went well? What could have been better? What mistakes did you make, and can you reframe them to reflect what you learned along the way?
Celebrate your accomplishments. There’s SO MUCH to celebrate. Did you finish writing your book? Did you tackle your resistance to social media, video, doing interviews? Did you build your email list? Is your tribe growing? Did you make business connections that you want to keep forever? It seems to be a human tendency to look at what DIDN’T get done and feel bad about it, so it’s important to focus on all your wins and really celebrate them. Feel good. It’s OK!
Say yes, and learn to say no. Your year-end review informs you about what you can say yes to in the New Year, and what you should say no to. Don’t look at decisions that didn’t work out as planned as mistakes, but rather simply feedback as to what to do instead.
It gives you historical context and a roadmap for the future. At the end of 2017, can you imagine looking at your year-end report and seeing your amazing growth? You’ll be so proud of how far you’ve come. Visualization gives your mind a way to know what to aim for. It’s powerful. Use it.
Our memories are not that great. If you know me at all, you probably know that I always encourage you to write stuff down. Your brain is for brilliance and all your great new ideas. It is not to try and remember every little thing that happened throughout the year. We all need a little help to refresh our brains about what the year looked like – not just what’s happening now. Think about what you’ve done, who you’ve hired, what you’ve learned, what trainings you’ve done as you live through the year. Then at the end of the year, use it as your reflection tool.
We are all creative, whether it’s writing a book, painting a painting, designing a business plan, or caring for the kids. And we all need a little inspiration from time to time. That’s I’m excited to share that I’ve been invited to be one of the guests at the “Creative Life Summit” and I’ve got a free front row ticket for you, so come join me…
Other guests you can hear from on the Summit include Chris Guillebeau, James Taylor, Jennifer Louden, SARK, David Burkus, Sunni Brown and so many others. It’s going to be a blast. Creativity in business is essential in this day and age!! And it’s free. Hooray!
To your success!