For several years now part of my ‘winding up the year’ routine has been a dedicated pause for reflection and self-planning for the year ahead. I got the original idea from a Jeff Whalan leadership course and modified it to the questions/issues that work for me.
I started this to underline the end of a working year and help start the new year afresh – in effect making a clear distinction (to help counter the ‘year flying by’ or ‘becoming a blur’). I’ve found it incredibly useful for my own self-awareness and starting a new year with greater clarity from the very start. I now do this exercise for both my work and my personal/home life.
It takes the form of a short set of questions (5 looking back, 5 forward) and only takes 30 minutes or so (keep it simple!). While you certainly don’t have to, I like to document the answers to ‘keep myself honest’ and for future reflection.
Feel free to adopt/modify or add to the list for yourself – I’ve just kept it to the 5 questions that work best for me.
For the year past:
What are you most proud of achieving in the last year?
What was your best decision?
What activity gave you the greatest joy?
What was the best lesson you learned?
What work is unfinished that will carry over?
For the year ahead:
What are your top 3 goals for the year ahead?
What does success look like?
Who else will be key to this success?
What will you do for your own professional development?
What are you most excited about in the year ahead?
I also go through the same questions covering me @HOME (my personal life, including family, relationships, health, finances, etc.). I find it works for my ‘1122’ HBDI preferences! (analytical, logical, fact based, organised, planned, detailed) ☺
I hope this strikes a chord for you as it did me – give it a try this December!