Year In Review: What Worked, What Didn't, And What To Do Now

You come to the end of the year and everything is about "what will I do next year"...but in order to move forward you need to take a look back.  It doesn't feel like it should make sense that in order to move forward you need to review your previous footsteps, but think about T.S. Eliot's quote:
“We shall not cease from exploration 
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time."
A trap we often fall into at Wavoto is we're constantly moving forward and doing so at such a fast speed that we neglect the important moment where we can sit and reflect.

When was the last time you stopped and reflected?

Before you enter a new year, I invite you to take a moment and reflect. To arrive where you started and know it for the first time.

List Your Accomplishments

Start off with the wins, by listing things you accomplished this year. Don't reserve this list for just the big things, add small things as well. Your list could contain things like:
  • Sent my first newsletter out
  • Worked regular 5 hours each business day
  • Gained 300 Instagram followers
  • Increased by 100 new customers
This might be a little difficult if you haven't done this before. Our society tends to focus on our weaknesses and failures more than our wins. And even when we have wins, if they aren't "big enough" you tend to downplay them and act like they are meaningless.

To counter this, take this step month by month. What did you do in January that was successful? Now get the picture.

Additionally, looking back at your stats can be really helpful. For example, I take weekly stats from Google Analytics but rarely look at the monthly stats. This past month I pulled up our monthly statistics and was pleasantly surprised that the numbers were greater than I expected for pageviews and referrals!

What could you find when you look at your numbers? Whether they be Google Analytics, Instagram, or Email Open Rates.

Listed your accomplishments? Now comes my favorite part, celebrate yourself! 

I recommend a dance party, already have a playlist for you:

Find Areas To Improve

Okay, this was just a nice way to say "what didn't go so well this year" and, honestly, this part can be hard. 

Have you ever looked back on a day and thought "What did I even do?" when you know you were busy doing something all day? Sometimes entire years can feel this way.

This is why you start with the positive then move to the negative. You did accomplish things this past year (check your list!), but that doesn't mean you can't improve.

Start your list with things that took a lot of time each month but didn't seem to deliver anything or something that took a lot of your time with little return. Your list may look something like this:
  • Answered endless emails each day that didn't have a clear purpose/end goal
  • Ran a webinar campaign with little attendance
  • Didn't grow my customer list
The thing about these "negatives" is they all contain an opportunity to improve. Once you have your list of not so great things, list out ways you might change them like:
  • Answered endless emails each day that didn't have a clear purpose/end goal
    • Start tracking common email questions, concerns, themes
    • Limit my email time to 10-30 minutes a day
    • Set an automatic reply of email "office hours"
  • Ran a webinar campaign with little attendance
    • Review my landing page statistics versus sign-ups to see where the disconnect may be
      • Review what I did to promote the campaign and best practices for webinar promotion
      • Review my webinar topic and landing page copy
  • Didn't grow my customer list
    • Reflect on ongoing marketing to my leads
    • Breakdown activities to grow leads
    • Look at conversion rate from Leads to Customer
These changes might be something you apply in the future, but they also might present new opportunities for growth you never realized.

Set Goals For New Growth

Now that you know what your achieved and where you can improve for the future, it's come time to decide what you want to achieve in the new year.

This may be building on your current success and strategy or pivoting and going a whole new direction! 

Find the right goals for you by checking out our 4 different goal-setting strategies

Bonus: Set Regular Reflection

Recently, I discovered this TikTok sharing 3 ways to help you advance your career with small calendar blocks:
While they may not feel explicitly connected to your day-to-day work, they are a great start to regular reflection. Here's how I would break them down:
  1. Block 30 minutes once a month to write down the projects you've worked on, what went well with them, and what you could improve.
  2. Block 30 minutes each week to list out what you need to accomplish, why, and list in order of importance.
  3. Block 10 minutes each quarter to decide on "non-negotiables" that need to get done. (For me it's things like a newsletter once a week - everything else can go wrong, but that will be done). Take such a small amount of time so you can't think too long about it, you just write down the immediate things you deem important!
I recommend keeping a document or sheet with these reflections so at the end of the year you already have a base of what you wanted to focus on, what you deemed most important, what you accomplished, and where you can improve.

AND you get snapshots into quick improvements throughout the year - win/win!

When are you setting aside time to reflect on this past year? Let me know in the comments when you're committing to it!

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