Looking Back to Move Forward

These last days of December are the perfect time to step back and take stock of your personal and professional accomplishments. While you may remember most of the hits and misses, intentionally conducting an end-of-year personal annual review will surface insights to give your clearer understanding and direction in the year ahead.

The Value of Looking Back to Move Forward

As a business owner, it’s your job to constantly look ahead and anticipate what will happen next. But it’s an invaluable exercise to reflect on the past 12 months. Celebrate your wins, process the losses, and sharpen your vision moving into the new year.

Reflect on Progress Made

You’ll get the most out of this exercise by drilling down into the details. When you respond to the prompts, reference specific numbers, achievements, and people. 

Insights for the Future 

Identifying patterns in what worked well this year gives you the recipe for repeating your successes. Reviewing mistakes tells you what to change or avoid. Here are some prompts to consider in an end-of-year personal annual review:  

1. Greatest Hits

  • Think of three things that went exceptionally well this year. 
  • What factors contributed to the wins? 
  • Are there next steps to build on these successes?

2. Biggest Misses

  • What were the top three biggest obstacles or failures you experienced in the past year? 
  • What held you back or got in your way of success? 
  • What can you change that would lead to a different result in the future?

3. Key Skills Learned

  • What new abilities, knowledge, or lessons did you learn in the past year? 
  • What was the most useful? 
  • What do you want to learn more about?

4. Connections to Cultivate

  • Think about how you have expanded your network this past year.
  • Did you join a new group? 
  • How many meetings did you schedule with new contacts?
  • Which of those contacts will you continue to nurture in the coming year?

5. New Opportunities 

  • What new business opportunities did you discover this past year?
  • Did you introduce a new product or service? 
  • Did you partner with another business in your industry or community?
  • Did you participate in any events, such as business conferences and seminars?

6. Marketing Communications

  • What marketing channels were most effective for you this year?
  • What didn’t work? 
  • Did you try a new marketing strategy? 
  • Did you update any of your marketing materials or your digital messaging?
  • Were you involved in your community?

How did you do? If you’re pleased with the results, that’s great and keep growing! If you’re not satisfied, select the areas you want to improve in the new year. Reach out if you’d like guidance in shaping a growth plan for your business.

If you would like to discuss strategies to grow your business, let’s talk:

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