For those of you who have been around for a while, you know that December is when I press pause and allow the fast-paced holiday season to run its course. It’s also a time when I create space for reflection and to connect with the people who are important to me, as I encourage you to do, too.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how was your year? How do you plan to make next year better?
I’m a stickler for completion. Completing tasks, conversations, relationships. Most of us are not taught how to make endings, to finish old business, so it doesn’t follow us into the New Year. We close the books on our businesses, and do year-end reviews with staff, but somehow doing the same work to actively turn the page in our lives and our careers evades us. I have a solution.
For many years, I’ve been following a simple process to gain perspective on the year as it ends and to intentionally choose what I want to pursue in the year ahead. Even more effective than New Year Resolutions (which are soon to be broken anyway and usually made without much reflection or planning), I’m looking for patterns, beliefs and circumstances so I can consciously opt into which I carry forward and which I leave behind as I step into a brand new year.
You know my mantra is Chase What Matters, Do What Counts and this periodic review is the way I hold myself accountable to continuously enhance my life and to winnow out that which doesn’t belong anymore.
It allows me to revisit the pleasures from the year which has passed and begin to make sense of the disappointments and challenges. Even more, it points the way to issues that I need to seek some help on for the year ahead so I can live the life I intend. This simple act of closure and completion has been a key part of refining how I run my business and how I lead my life. It’s a tool I come back to throughout the year, as a blueprint for decision making so I continue to align my choices with what matters.
I have a handy two page list of reflective questions that guides me through a gentle process to close the year with a sense of ease and to outline proactive action steps for the year ahead. It’s been invaluable to me. You can find my version here and adapt it for your own use.
This year, because it also ends a decade, I’m going to do my review twice – once for the year that is closing and the one that is opening, but also a separate reflection on the decade that is closing and the one that is opening. If you look at life in small and large chunks you can see the patterns more clearly and set a target for what you would like this next decade to develop into.
I’m looking forward to spending time with you in the New Year and to being of service as you Chase What Matters to you.
PS. If you know of someone who is thinking that 2020 is the year to sell their business, you can get a copy of my new book The Sellers’ Journey here (and through the end of the year, no shipping costs!)