Marketing & Biz

Nine Best Practices For Getting The Most Out Of Year-End Reflection

The end of each year is an important time to reflect on what you accomplished throughout the year as well as any challenges you faced so that you can make a game plan to improve in the future. Sometimes it’s difficult to remember everything that happened, but you don’t want to overlook significant events when reflecting on them can help you accomplish more in the months ahead.

When trying to get the most out of your reflection time, there are several methods you can use to look back at the year and zero in on the wins and losses that mattered most. Here, a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council members share some tips for reflecting on the past year and how to determine what you can do better in the future. 

1. Be Specific About Why You Are Reflecting

Be specific about why you are reflecting in the first place. Self-reflection is a great tactic to use if you want to be honest with yourself about what has worked in the past year and what hasn’t, but it can only truly work if you know what you’re looking for. For me, lists help in a big way. I write down things I want to reflect on and I find that I get the most productive results. – Nick Venditti, StitchGolf

2. Ensure Your Goals Are Aligning With Reality

The end of each year is prime time for self-reflection. Take stock of your goals for your business and ensure they align with where your business is heading. Filtering everything you do through the lens of what’s important to you will ensure your company is always fulfilling its goals. – Rachel Lipson, Blue Balloon Songwriting for Small People

3. Write Your Wrongs First Thing In The Morning

Write your wrongs and everything else! Write three pages immediately when you wake up in the morning—before you check your phone, email or any media outlet. This exercise will prove to be one of the most freeing aspects of your daily routine. When you write uninhibited, you are forced to sit one on one with your missteps and triumphs. If you want true clarity, you will write your wrongs. – Kelly Cardenas, Kelly Cardenas

4. Revisit Your Reflections Weeks Or Months Later

The best way to get value from your reflections is to revisit your writing a few weeks or even months later. There’s a good chance you’ll look through your notebook and have an “aha” moment as it pertains to your leadership style, personal challenges or marketing strategy. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC

5. Put It In Writing

Write your reflections down. Use a pen and paper, not a computer, as it engages the creative part of your mind more. Write freely or categorize your reflections into things you’re grateful for, setbacks you face and where you want to go next year, in business and in life. Once you’ve written all you want, let it sit for a minute. Then carefully review your work and make an action plan. – Tyler Bray, TK Trailer Parts

6. Think About Meaning And Lessons Learned

Make a list of things you have done wrong and the things you did right. Also list down the important people you met, the different places you visited, challenges you faced and other such important things from the past year of your life. Now spend some time thinking about what these events meant to you and what you learned from them. I do this every year and it helps me gain a lot of clarity. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

7. Ask Others For Their Opinions

Ask for brutally honest opinions. It is important that you review your process yourself, but many times we miss a lot of things, which is why I always ask my employees, friends or anyone with an objective opinion so I can understand different points of view. From this survey, I can see the landscape of a long period of time more broadly and thus make better decisions to improve in the future. – Kevin Ryan Tao, NeuEve

8. Look For Patterns In Behavior And Track Trends

If you want to get the most out of your reflection time, I suggest looking for patterns in your behavior. The key is to honestly track both positive and negative trends you notice throughout the day. I believe that identifying patterns is the best way to find areas for opportunity and improve on what you’re doing right. – John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

9. Be Honest With Yourself

Be objective and honest. Look at what worked and what didn’t. Don’t beat yourself up on the negatives and don’t get too proud of the positives. Set goals based on both objective evaluations for the following year. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance


Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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