Look Back to Look Ahead, Gain Perspective on Your Business

How to End the Year on a High Note–and Set the Stage for Next Year!

With the end of 2018 just around the corner, now is the time to stop and review your year so far. I hope you take the time to review and celebrate your wins and successes. Before the end of the year, it’s a worthy practice to document your best success stories, including the quantifiable impact of your work, no matter what position you hold. What brought you and your team the greatest satisfaction?

Business Perspective ImageDid you launch a new product that brings you and your company great pride and a new revenue stream? Did your team win that sought-after new client after months of cultivating trust and proposing your best solutions? You might point with satisfaction to the new hire you have mentored throughout the year whose own successes are helping your company grow.

Conversely, what setbacks and obstacles did you encounter this year? What were the most valuable lessons learned? If you faced challenges that pushed you out of your comfort zone, congratulations! What new skills and expertise can you point to, and how might that help you next year?

End the Year on a High Note
Now is an excellent time to think of one project to wrap up, or one more milestone to complete, as you end the year. Finishing the year on a positive note is powerful. Is there a project that is coming to a close that needs a signature touch that would delight a client? Is there a book on your reading list that would provide new insight into an area of challenge? Whatever you choose to do, keep it manageable, but make it impactful.

Take Time to Reflect
Once you wrap up your review of this year, take time to clear your thoughts and reflect. Most of us are so busy with daily deadlines and family obligations that we never push the “pause button.” There is power in finding a day, or even a few hours, to quietly reflect and focus on what is most meaningful and essential.

According to an article in the Harvard Business Review by Umair Haque, “Making Room for Reflection is a Strategic Imperative,” the best breakthroughs come from loosely structured periods of reflection. He recommends asking questions on how things can be improved and synthesizing those thoughts and ideas for the next level of performance. He asserts that such reflection becomes the rocket fuel for better answers to business problems.

 

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”  
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

 

Looking Ahead

Set your intention for next year. What is the strategy for your career, your team, or your company? Think about the ways you can build on the successes of this year. Look beyond the daily grind of hectic activity. Make decisions now about what is important and meaningful for next year. Set yourself and your team up for success in the year ahead by bringing more reflection into the mix and take action on what you discover.