For many of us, this past year was filled with both successes and challenges. As 2012 closes, it is a great time to reflect on what went well and what could have gone better. Looking back is always a healthy exercise because it allows us to gain a big picture perspective. It also enables us to stay away from the less important details that can bog us down. Here are a few steps that may guide you through this analysis:
- Make a list of your accomplishments in 2012- Always commence a self-reflective process on a positive note. Don’t worry about the order or the importance; just itemize all the projects you tackled during the year. If you can, put them into categories or group similar tasks together. Make sure you give yourself time to think and evaluate the many experiences and jobs you had over the 12 months. Looking back can be exhilarating as well as overwhelming. But just “do it”! Do not focus on what wasn’t totally finished at this point, just what you actually achieved.
- Make a list of what was not realized in 2012- During this step it is necessary to be brutally honest with yourself. What projects didn’t you accomplish and what goals were not reached? Do not attempt to find the solutions just yet, but rather make your hefty or light list. Take a critical look at the objectives and tasks that you committed to achieving in 2012 and evaluate the pieces that did not happen. This is not an exercise in “beating up” on yourself, but rather an analysis of what actually didn’t materialize this past year professionally. There may be many reasons why this may have happened, but this step is all about admitting what was not attained.
- Evaluate why targets were missed- At this point, it is now time to dissect why projects or goals were not realized. Did the weak economy impact the goal? Were all the necessary resources available or did something change mid-stream? Did you just have too much on your plate and too little time or too little support? Were you able to reach out to the right people or not able to find the help you needed? Or were you simply afraid to ask for help? Could you have collaborated with someone to attain this goal?
- What have you learned? A tough but necessary question to ask. In this final step, it is so important that you are able to grow professionally and understand what you could have done differently to hit your mark. Pat yourself on the back for all that you did accomplish and incorporate your new found information and understanding into your 2013 projections. You have given yourself a gift of retrospection and it will payoff in the coming year. So continue doing what worked well for you and readjust in the areas you would like to do differently.
Be the best leader you can be in 2013 by taking stock in how you led during the past year. You deserve to take the time to reflect.
How do you go about evaluating your past year achievements? Would love your thoughts and comments.