The end of a year always has us feeling conflicted. Upon reflection, for many it may be a welcome sight, especially if it’s been a difficult year. For others, it’s a chance to celebrate achievements and ramp up activity and clarity on goals, before the new year commences. No matter how you view the year end, reflection is an essential part of your business strategy.

Reflection allows you a moment to see what worked well for you. It’s the opportunity to know how your business has performed over the past year and to celebrate your achievements – no matter how big or small they may be. But it also gives you a chance to evaluate what did or didn’t work for you, so you know what worked and what needs changing – enabling you to close off the current year and start afresh in the new one.

But what are the different ways you can carry out this essential reflection period in your business? Here’s a couple of ways to get you started.

Hold an end of year review

 These aren’t just for multi-employee companies. And end of year review gives you a change to reflect on your current year and get your focus onto the year ahead too. Just sit down and hold your own end of year review, by asking yourself the following:

  • How would you rate yourself during this year?
  • What did you achieve and what do you still have on to achieve?
  • What would you say was your biggest achievement this year?
  • How have your achievements impacted on your business?
  • What will you do better next year?
  • What plans and goals do you have for next year?
  • Where do you see yourself, this time next year?

This is great for people who are more analytically minded, as it helps keep emotion out of the equation. If you’re more creative or emotionally-led though, you may prefer the following option.

Carry out a personal reflection on the current year

There are a lot of small business owners that are more creative and/or emotion-led. This is where a personal reflection could be more beneficial for your reflection. You could still go through the questions above, but a personal reflection is more about how you felt, using questions such as:

  • How do you feel about your business year? Could you sum it up with one word?
  • What emotions would you use to recap it?
  • What projects and tasks filled you with joy? And what ones didn’t?
  • What achievements did you reach this year and how do you feel about achieving them?
  • What did you learn from this year?
  • What do you feel is missing from this year and what changes can you implement, to ensure you add them to next year?
  • Are you getting the lifestyle you want from your business?

Sitting down in a quiet space with a cup of tea, is a great way to reflect on your personal year. Journaling is another way to write out your thoughts and feelings about the year and so is taking yourself off for a long walk, complete with your voice recorder or notebook!

It doesn’t really matter how you carry out your reflection, what’s important is that you do it. Not only does it give you the opportunity to see what is and isn’t working for you, it also gives you a chance to close off this year and start next year with a clean slate and fresh outlook.

How do you feel about reflection on your business year? Do you use the above methods to carry yours out or is there another way you prefer? Why not share your thoughts on reflecting over your past year, by leaving a comment in the box below!

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