#2021bringiton – review and reflect

Through December I’ll be focusing on making plans for next year, using my cheesy rhyming hashtag #2021bringiton

This is the time of year when people start thinking about the coming year, making plans and setting goals – although you’d be forgiven for not daring to tempt fate with that right now!

However, the world is continuing to turn – and leaving everything up to fate is not generally accepted to be a good business plan.

So we’re going to think about what we plan to achieve in 2021, and how we’re going to do that.

I’ll be breaking all this down into small steps over the next few weeks, so you can take the whole of December to think things through, take a well-earned break, and be ready to kick everything off in January.


That’s a point…

You are taking a break over Christmas and New Year, right?!

I know you CAN work all the days in the calendar, and many self-employed people have this idea that they SHOULD be working every hour possible, but it’s really not good for you – or for your business!

You need to take a break to rest yourself mentally and physically, and also taking a step back from the coal-face of your business and looking at it overall (rather than just the day-to-day details of your to-do list) will help you see where the best improvements can be made.


OK, back to plans for 2021

…and maybe some of those improvements!

Before we look forward, we must remember to think back, to reflect on what’s worked this year, and what hasn’t, and to take lessons from that.

To do that, I’ve used a book called Your Best Year Yet, that a friend introduced me to about 5 years ago (she’s been using it for much longer than that).

The book has plenty of detail about the benefits of reviewing things, asking questions of yourself, etc. And at the end of the book is a set of 10 questions to help you plan for the upcoming year, which is to be ‘Your Best Year Yet’.

After doing this for a while, I now focus on my favourite 4 questions, the ones I find most useful that get to the heart of things quickly.

They are:
1) What did I accomplish?
2) What were my biggest disappointments?
3) What did I learn?
4) How do I limit myself and how can I stop?

So that’s what I want you to consider in reviewing the past year.


Covid-related note

There’s no right or wrong answers, it’s up to you to decide what to focus on.

You might find some of your answers are directly related to covid, you might find some of them are indirectly related to covid, or you might find that you don’t consider the impact of covid at all.

It didn’t feature in my answers.


What did I discover?

I found a lot of accomplishments to be happy about, mostly around clarity on ‘what I want to be known for’ and what my business is all about. It’s evolved A LOT since I started up 5½ years ago and now I’m very happy with what I offer and how I offer that.

My disappointments were the usual – Queen of Procrastination and ‘still not exercising’ have been joint winners of ‘disappointment of the year’ for the past 5 years! Well, at least I haven’t added anything new to that list…

I’m really happy with my ‘what did I learn?’ answers. The clarity around ‘what I want to be known for’ and what my business is all about have been a fantastic breakthrough. It’s a lot simpler than I thought it needed to be – that’s a lesson in itself!

The final question ‘how do I limit myself and how can I stop?’ is a lot easier to ask than answer. My self-proclaimed title as Queen of Procrastination is clearly a big one and I’m yet to find a ‘how can I stop’ solution for it. But I’m working on it – and that’s all anyone can ask.


In summary

That last question is a specific and focussed version of the overall process.

Identify what you need to work on, make plans to work on it, carry out those plans, review to see if they’re working, if not try something else.

That’s the whole thing really, isn’t it?! Review, learn, improve, review, learn, improve…

So, write down these questions and consider them over the next week/month.

1) What did I accomplish?
2) What were my biggest disappointments?
3) What did I learn?
4) How do I limit myself and how can I stop?

And next week I’ll talk about the next stage of making plans for 2021.

2021 eh? Bring it on!

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