Do you feel like you have accomplished all that you set out to do in the past few months? Or, at least close enough where there is no point in getting too worked up about it? The important thing is that you are now able to reflect and assess what went well and what didn’t during this time. There is a lot we can learn from our year so far — especially if we look back on our goals. This article will show how you can reflect upon and assess your year so far with seven simple ways to help guide your learning process. I’ll be using the Cowork as an example.
1. What Worked
This is a funny question. We have to know where we wanted to go and if we actually got there before we can determine what worked. I had big goals for the CoWork for 2020. I wanted to have 10 members by May/June and 20 by the end of the year. Spoiler, that didn’t happen. In March, I re-evaluated what success would look like for the CoWork. For me, I wanted to keep the members I had as long as possible and continue my plans for outreach, building connections, and letting people know how the CoWork could benefit them.
2. What Didn’t Work
Thinking that having in-person events would be the way I would recruit new members obviously didn’t work. There were also some failed attempts at creating income to support the CoWork while I weathered the storm. Regardless of what these storms looked like for your case, ease out on those lapses that would’ve been addressed had you arrived with better insights to tap. Wield introspection and assess your year with a better mindset.
3. Where do you want to be in 12 months?
I want to be relaxing on a beach in the Maldives. I will probably spend most of my time laying on or under the water, reading books, and drinking cocktails. Yeah, that probably isn’t realistic. However, I do have some thoughts on where I want to be in 12 months. Let’s use the Cowork as the example again.
In 12 months…
- The people who are members now are still members
- There are 25 more new members who are excited about the community and working on things they love
- Implemented at least three more upgrades
- Have a plan for how we can expand
- Our initial hope and dreams for CoWork in tangible outputs!
4. Where do you want to focus?
I’ve learned this lesson the hard way. Don’t be like me. Focusing on one thing makes all the difference in how far you get toward your success. For the CoWork, I want to focus on supporting existing members and meeting new people who want to be members. I’m doing this by hosting networking meetings, lunch and learns, and community nights. See what I did there? Think about what you want to focus on and then make an action plan.
5. Who do you want to hear from and connect with?
No matter how good your work is, you can’t reach all the potential clients out there. That’s why it is important to consider who you want to connect with and share your story with. Are they more likely to look for your services online or offline? Knowing who you want to reach out to will help you determine where they hang out. Assess your year with two more heads and a few more backbones. Be surprised how others are adding value to yours.
6. What does success look like for you going forward?
This is my favorite. Deciding where you want to go means you are committed to moving forward. I love thinking about what success looks like. Knowing where you are going means you can start making a plan that has teeth and a real chance at succeeding. But before we see rainbows, take into consideration that heavy rain pours. Reflect on the previous year’s opportunities for improvement then map out your plans and target upskilling. Make sure you’re better at things that really matter to personal or career goals.
7. Do you have what you need?
Ah, the age-old problem of not feeling like you have what you need to succeed. In most cases, you will have what you need to start. Beyond that, you have access to the things you need and people who have access to those things. The rub is knowing what you need. Now that you know where you want to go, ask someone who’s already there what they needed to start. Compare that list to the things you already have. What’s missing? Those are the things you might need to purchase/acquire/learn to move forward.
Moving Forward & Assess your Year
You, too, could delve into the highlights of your year and reflect on those that mattered by bringing journaling into the process. Take time to put these thoughts into paper and label them with timelines. Writing reminds us where we are at and which things can be improved. Ever worried you have to pay for planners? Try customizing your own and be intentional as you reflect and assess your year.
As we went through an entirely turned-up phase last year, we realized the importance of getting through it together. It gave us a sense of aiming to get more people connected, involved, and equipped with skills.
This is a process I like to walk through at least a couple of times a year. It gives me perspective, allows me to celebrate my wins, acknowledges where I can improve, and helps me map out my next steps. What’s your next step?