Beyond strengthening bonds with those around you, the holidays offer an invaluable opportunity for reflection. While the value of New Year’s resolutions has been questioned, I have found that there is a natural cycle occurring during the holidays that I can leverage to reflect on progress, learnings and create plans for the coming year.
Take advantage of this convergence to invest in some reflective time. Here are some questions to get you started.
1. What happened this year that I want to record? What did I make happen?
2. Rather than beating yourself up about what you didn’t achieve, appreciate the gains you’ve made. In what areas of my life did I gain? Record the gain. In the context of your professional life, areas of gain might include:
- Capability: Increased competence and confidence in new and existing skills, knowledge and expertise
- Relationships: New and deepened professional relationships
- Impact: Confidence and recognition of how and to what extent you made an impact in your work this year
- Growth in income, role scope and responsibility, title, or another area of importance to you
- The achievement or real progress on your professional journey: a move to the next level, becoming more aligned by finding a better fit situation, entering a new field, etc.
3. What behaviors helped me to succeed? What behaviors didn’t serve me?
4. What did I learn this year?
5. What unfinished business do I have going into the New Year? What can I drop and what will I recommit to completing?
6. What do I want for the coming year? Why are these things important to me? What difference will they make in my life? What would success look like in the various aspects of my life?
7. What decisions do I need to make? What am I resisting doing? Where have I become too comfortable, or fearful of making a change?
8. What structures can I set in place to increase the probability that I will succeed? Here are some ideas:
- A mentor, coach, or advisor – to help clarify, strategize, execute, and hold you accountable
- Teaming up. Joining a group working towards a similar goal
- Telling people about my goals.
- Putting review days in my calendar
- Making and acting on the decisions necessary to achieve your goals
As an FYI, we are launching an Intentional Career Growth Program later in Q1 that will provide you with a structure and frameworks to make progress with confidence and clarity. Stay tuned for more on that.
Of course, your exploration can go in many different directions. It might be the beginning of a powerful year. You might also simply confirm and validate that you are on the right track. Either way, the process will make you feel more certain and energized as you hit the New Year.