According to The Harvard Business Review, to get your team to a good start for the new year, it is important to focus on progress. This is called "the progress phenomenon." This progress phenomenon can be any contribution, because when people feel they are contributing they are highly engaged employees. The best way to measure this progress is through an "End of the Year Review." This is the way to "close out one year and start another prepared and strong."
These seven questions have helped me and those I work with, to close out one year and start another prepared and strong.
Am I In My Sweet Spot?
How Well Is Everything Really Working?
Are My Relationships Mutually Beneficial?
How Can I Improve My Time Management and Organization?
How Can I Improve My Brand, Marketing and Networking?
What Am I Really Proud of Right Now?
What Are 5 Intentions You Have for the Coming Year?
If you are not doing work you love and want to do, it’s very difficult to sustain your motivation and commitment. Discover and dive into where your true passions are and use that to find your sweet spot, the place you live most of the time. There will always be things we don’t love, but sometimes we need to be where we are on our way to where we want to be. Take some serious time to honestly evaluate where you are right now. If you are NOT where you want to be and doing what you want to do, then have the courage to accept that and do everything you can to change it.
In Spencer Johnson‘s gem, Who Moved My Cheese, he wrote this on The Handwriting on The Wall: “Monitor change, smell the cheese often so you know when it’s getting old.” Frequently monitor how everything is really working. Better to catch trends early and change them, than to let them get too far. Trust your instincts, your guts, and proactively change things. When things are working, we are much happier, more productive and have a much greater chance for consistent success.
True, authentic relationships with family, friends, and colleagues based on mutuality, respect, and trust have the best chance of enduring. If these are not the cornerstones in your relationships, then maybe it’s time to let go of them or make them work better. Evaluate what needs to improve and change and engage with people on how to improve things together.
Prioritizing, organizing and time blocking is not everyone’s favorite activity, but it is the only way to control what we do and how we do it. The level of distraction today, combined with stuff we hate to do, makes a bad recipe for getting behind and off track. Time management is a skill anyone can improve on. Get some help and have a heart-to-heart with yourself. Be more disciplined about this. Downsize, simplify, and streamline wherever you can. I did this a few years ago and it has become a very effective and important thing I do annually.
Look at and review your brand visuals and messaging, how you are marketing yourself, and how you are blending your face-to-face and online networking activities. Are you getting out and meeting people in person whenever you can? In-person connectivity is still the most important activity we invest in. Quality relationships can only thrive by regular, purposeful connectivity, on all media. Make sure you update all your social media platforms,especially LinkedIn.
Taking inventory is not always about what’s wrong or needs improvement. It’s also about the things we accomplished in spite of odds or challenges. Be proud of yourself for things you have achieved and accomplished—both personally and professionally—and use that to motivate and propel you forward. Our experiences can be great starting points for networking conversations.
Intentions are the fluid visions and goals of what we want to happen in our lives. Make a realistic list of five intentions you have that you want to happen in the coming year. Prepare yourself, fine-tune your execution plan ,and be ready for things to happen, because they will if you are strategic, serious, and consistent. Set, plan, prepare, point and go!
From The Handwriting on The Wall (Who Moved My Cheese):
- Change happens.
- Anticipate change.
- Monitor change.
- Adapt to change quickly.
- Enjoy change.
- Be ready to change quickly again and again.
What are things you can do now to end this year strong and start the new one stronger?