This year is coming to a close! If you hear bells ringing and see confetti flying when you hear those words you’re not alone. It may not officially mark the end of COVID, but it’s certainly a huge milestone — one that signifies the end of a tricky, tumultuous year. It’s the metaphorical finish line we’ve all been waiting for.
It may be tempting to close the door on 2020 and never look back, but I encourage you to do just that — take a look back before you look forward. Doing a ‘Year in Review’ helps you relive and celebrate your biggest wins, learn from your setbacks, and set more clearly defined goals for the year ahead.
As a business coach, this is one of my favorite exercises! It’s a way for you to highlight and revel in your wins and, perhaps even more importantly, pinpoint your struggles. You might be wondering why you’d ever want to reflect on your struggles, but the fact is, they’re excellent opportunities for learning and growth — and identifying them gives you a chance to test and evaluate new solutions.
I encourage you to sit down and do the following exercise to help you pause and reflect, so that you can move forward more effectively. Grab a cup of tea, your journal and your favorite pen! It might sound old-fashioned, but your creative floodgates open farther and you connect with the outcomes more deeply when you physically write things out versus typing them on a computer.
So how do you do an effective ‘Year in Review?’
Scroll through your pictures.
I find this to be the best place to start, because I often take pictures or screenshots of my big wins. But even if you don’t, a scroll through your pictures will likely jog your memory and give you an idea of what happened and when.
Pay attention to how you feel.
Reliving your big wins and wonderful moments will give you the warm, fuzzies — let yourself feel them! Acknowledge those moments and be proud of yourself. Whether it was a great trip, wonderful times spent with family and friends or big growth in your business, every happy moment has value, and can help you plan for and shape your goals for the upcoming year.
Likewise, pay attention to the not-so-great memories. You probably don’t take photographs of your less than stellar moments, but the memories might pop up for you as you’re doing this exercise. Don’t avoid those feelings — you WANT to know how you dealt with setbacks and how you can learn from your mistakes. Ask yourself:
Do a thoughtful review.
Now that you’ve taken a look back, take a moment to sit with the achievements you are most proud of this year. Write down the beautiful moments you experienced, along with some of your biggest learnings.
Write your goals for next year.
What do you want more of in the new year and how can you achieve it? The easiest way to stay on track is to create a big picture goal and then work backwards.
If you have a 6-figure income goal for your business or an epic vacation you want to take when we’re free to travel again, that’s great — but a dream without a plan is just a vision. Turn your dream into a goal by asking yourself how you’re going to get there, then create a step-by-step action plan. Breaking your big dream into bite-sized action steps makes it less overwhelming, gives you something to focus on each month and keeps you moving forward.
2020 might’ve felt like a stuck, stagnant year, and it’s easy to write it off and overlook all that you’ve accomplished — but you’ve very likely made much more progress than you give yourself credit for — so set aside some time to do this exercise and pave the way for big growth in 2021.
Let me know how your 2020 journey was in the comments! If you have big business goals, but you’re not exactly sure how to create an effective action plan, or you don’t have the resources you need to reach them, book a free call with me here.