Find some time before the end of the year to ask yourself these questions, and review
your answers as you develop your plans for next year.
1. What did you accomplish? Take a few moments to think about the major breakthroughs
of the year. What has been achieved this year? What major obstacles were overcome?
Which of your goals did you achieve? Make a list of your major accomplishments for
this past year.
2. What were your disappointments? Think about the frustrations you have experienced
over the same timeframe. What things did not go as you had planned or hoped? What
mistakes were made? List your biggest disappointments.
3. Think process. Go back and review your two lists and this time think about the
processes or methods that were used to further your goals. For instance maybe you
achieved your revenue goals and have noted this as a major accomplishment, but the
team took too much time to make decisions and then act on them. Add additional process
related disappointments or accomplishments to your lists.
4. What lessons have you learned? Review your list of accomplishments and disappointments
and think about the lessons you have learned this year. Write down how you can use
these lessons as you move forward into next year.
5. Celebrate your success. Review again your accomplishments and pat yourself on
the back for all you have achieved. Taking time to acknowledge your success on a
regular basis is a great way to refuel yourself and reduce stress. Often we take
our successes for granted and yet this is a key step in building confidence in order
to take on bigger challenges.
6. Celebrate with others. Consider how others have contributed to the success of
the organization. Plan meaningful ways to recognize their contributions. Celebrating
doesn't have to be about parties, even though this is one way to show your appreciation.
You can celebrate by personally thanking or rewarding individuals, and teams, that
have made significant contributions during the year. Praise is always welcomed and
often not given frequently enough.
7. Understand your values. Values are the standards and principles that are important
to you. Innovation, truth, order, beauty and desire to learn, are all examples of
values. Your core beliefs and values as a leader are the foundation on which you
build your business. Shared values are the glue that holds organizations together.
What are your top five values? Are you working in a way that is consistent with
these values? If not what changes do you need to make? Understanding your values
will add fuel to your sense of purpose and vision.
8. Review your vision and goals for your organization. Are you still on track? Is
your vision consistent with your values? Does your vision still pull you and the
organization forward? Does it need to be changed or expanded or even rewritten? Write
down your thoughts on what is missing that if changed would produce a breakthrough.
Develop a prioritized list of strategic imperatives that you want to address in
the coming year.
9. Develop your plan. Arrange a time to bring together your management team to develop
your goals and action plan for next year. We recommend that you dedicate at least
a full day to develop the plan, and that you do the work in a place where the team
can stay focused and free from distractions. Begin by reviewing the questions above
with your team. Just as you benefited from this review, your team will also benefit.
To maximize results consider using a consultant to facilitate the planning process
and build commitment and alignment to an actionable plan.
10. Commit your plan to paper. "A plan in your head isn't worth the paper it's
written on." Make sure your plan is committed to writing. Then place your goals
in a visible place somewhere where you will regularly see them. Develop a review
process to monitor progress, celebrate success and if required make mid-course corrections.