It's that time of year where you've either already done this or you're going to carve out some time to do a year in review. Whether it's a 10 minute reflection on Dec. 31st or a few hours where you go to a coffee shop or take a walk and reflect on your year. It's bound to happen.
The process I'm going to share with you is one that I share with my students and it's evolved every year and I would bet it will continue to for the rest of my life. I hope the same for you too! It's not really about my process, it's about taking time to reflect on the year that's happened as well as being intentional about going into the new year.
So whatever process you follow, enjoy it and make it your own!
My Year In Review Process
I have 2 main steps that I go through and I personally do them within the same day but you don't have to do this. Often times we're in a season of life that we can't take a few hours to do this so if that's you, please know you can break this up into as many small chunks of time as you need. And if you can't (or don't want to) answer all the questions, that's okay too.
Remember, you're creating YOUR process so use this as inspiration and then create your own.
**This was also a podcast episode (episode #171. Use the player below if you'd prefer to listen to this message.
Step 1: Reflect on the current year
Thoughts / Feelings / Reflections
These are anything that comes up for me, I just write it down and don't edit anything. If I feel like something sucked, I write it down. If I loved something, I write it down. This is a messy board of words and phrases and thoughts. It's all about getting it out and being honest.
Questions that help with reflecting:
How are you feeling right now?
What are you most proud of this year?
What’s something you’re ready to let go of from this year?
What was the most fun thing you did?
What surprised you the most?
When were you thrilled with the result?
Well Shoot List (what didn't work)
This is self explanatory but it's everything that didn't work. And I named it "well shoot" because that's how we want to look at things. Not "I failed" but "well shoot, that didn't work like I thought it would". For this one I set a timer and I have a rule: for everything that didn't work I have to write the lesson I learned next to it. Everything has a lesson! In terms of a time limit, I'd suggest anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes. You definitely don't want to give yourself too much time here. Capture the lessons and move on.
Wins (what worked)
This helps you capture what did work so you can do more of that next year! And strategically I position this after the Well Shoot list so you don't stay in that too long. Move from what didn't work to what did work so you can stay focused on what was good. Make a list of things you enjoyed, things that made you money, connections you made. Anything that worked in your life/business is what you want to capture here. It's easy to stay focused on what didn't work so we have to consciously remind ourselves about what did work so we can celebrate it! Plus it allows you to plan with intention for the upcoming year.
Questions that help with reflecting on what worked:
How have you grown personally this year?
What would the person you were one year ago be surprised to see about your life now?
What brought traffic to your website?
How much growth did you see on your email list?
What social media channel was the most rewarding for you?
Were there any partnerships/collaborations that felt great this year?
So Proud (celebrate! Say names)
It's time to celebrate all that you accomplished, all that you worked through, all that you are proud of and I do not want you to skip this part. Think about what you overcame during this year and celebrate YOU working through it. From tech hiccups to family drama to health stuff to you name it, I have no doubt you overcame something in this year and it's important to celebrate all you've done. And this is especially true if you're in the middle of the crap right now. If you're not on the other side of the crap, it's imperative that you celebrate all you have done to get to where you are.
Something else I love to do in this part is to say the names of each of my students. This takes a bit of time to pull the list together but if you go to your payment system and pull a report of all income you made in the year there will also be names of people who paid you. From there I would suggest that you read each name out loud. This.Is.Powerful! And I highly recommend you do this.
Step 2: Project Into The New Year
Once you've reflected on the year it's time to move into looking ahead to next year. For me I always take a break between these two things even though it happens on the same day. I like to dance around the room, eat a snack, or take a walk to give myself some space between the two activities.
One year I was using a friend's space to do this and I used a small room to do the reflection and then I moved into a bigger room to do the projection part. I loved it! So you could even change locations in your house or even go outside.
During this part of the process you're looking into next and setting some goals. If that makes you a bit nervous I'd remind you that 90 day goals are much more accessible but getting clear on your year's intention will help guide those goals. I break this part up into a few sections and you don't have to have an answer for all of them but I do like to separate them.
Life Intention / Goal
I suggest that you start by thinking about your life before business. As you're creating a business that integrates into your life instead of taking it over, this is critical. I'd like for you to pause and think "what do I hope I'm writing in the "So Proud" bucket next year? How do you want to show up in your life next year? What do you want to prioritize next year? How do you want your life to feel over the next year?
As long as you have a general guiding phrase for your life it can help you stay on your path to success all year long.
Growth Intention / Goal
This can be personal or business related or even both. Ask yourself in what way do you want to or do you want your business to grow this year? Do your best to leave revenue out of this one because there's a bucket for that but instead focus on growth in another way.
Maybe you want to save money so you can sign up for a training. Maybe you want to focus on growing your email list. Maybe you want to take a trip solo. The list could go on and on but the idea is that you ask how you want yourself and/or your business to grow next year. But identifying this it will also serve as a guiding light for you all year long.
Revenue Intention / Goal
This one is pretty clear as it's setting a goal for your business revenue. I'd recommend setting a Good, Better and Best goal for this part. Your Good Goal can be covering all expenses and of course paying yourself. The Best Goal can be double the Good Goal. And the Better Goal can be right in the middle of the two.
Most important in all this work is that you identify your WHY behind each intention / goal. If you can't describe why you want to chase a specific goal then it's not something you will actively pursue so I'd encourage you to digger deeper.
My Life Goal for 2023 is....
My WHY for this intention is....
My Growth Goal for 2023 is....
My WHY for this intention is....
My Revenue Goal for 2023 is....
My WHY for this intention is....
Your Next Step
Go through the Reflection and Projection process so you can move into the new year with intention. Remember that this is your process and you can tweak it however you'd like to and make it your own. The key is to take time to reflect on what worked and what didn't in life and business this year and then move forward doing more of what worked and less of what didn't.
Until next time give yourself permission to reflect and project and grace along the way. I'll talk to you soon.
"I'm sharing my process but take what you like and leave the rest. Create YOUR process so it benefits you even more."
- Amanda McKinney