It took a second for the clock to switch over from December 31, 2012 to January 1, 2013.
Yet, the impact of that second is much bigger. The moment in time reflects a symbolic milestone.
That milestone is likely to naturally trigger you to look ahead in 2013, to where you’re going and what you want to achieve this year.
Yet, you may find a little voice saying something like this:
- “Last year doesn’t really feel complete to me. Something is missing.”
- “I didn’t get everything done last year that I wanted to.”
- “I’m not even close to where I wanted to be by now.”
You probably know by now I’m a big proponent of planning the year, months and weeks ahead. It’s something that can be done at any point in the year. I even created a do-it-yourself, on-demand program to meet this need.
However, before you look ahead, you’ve got some unfinished business to do.
It’s about getting closure on last year and to realize not so much what you didn’t get done, but more importantly what you DID accomplish.
I’m willing to bet there were things you wanted to do last year that didn’t get done and it would be easy to write all these things down.
Churning over gaps gets you nowhere fast. It’s a dangerous trap.
I want you to start 2013 fresh, by looking at what did go well last year and then move forward from there.
Rather than swirling in setbacks, celebrate your progress and build from THAT place.
Want to start this year fresh? Wondering how to do that and still feel good about 2012?
Try out the first step of my five-step annual planning system. That first step is The Positive MaximizerTM and has three parts:
Part 1: Take stock of the year.
Get out a piece of paper and answer these questions. This is not about having the “perfect” answers. Simply write bullet points for each of them and go with your gut.
- What worked well in the last year? What didn’t?
- What excited you and gave you energy? What didn’t?
- What’s most memorable to you? What are you most proud of?
- What made you the most revenue? What didn’t?
- What are the hardest things you had to overcome?
- What did you learn? What did you need to UNlearn?
You’ll notice I asked “What didn’t?” a few times. While this at first may seem like a “glass half empty” perspective, I’m asking you to FOCUS on what did work and take into consideration what could have been better.
Part 2: Highlight your achievements.
Get out another piece of paper and create a table with 10 rows and three columns. Label the columns: Achievement, Reason Why, and Further Progress / Specific Action.
Simply think about last year and write down at least 10 achievements in the first column. Include achievements in both your professional and personal areas of focus.
In the second column write down WHY each was an achievement. This sells yourself on the fact it actually was an achievement for you.
In the third column write down further progress and next steps for each achievement. Maybe for certain achievements, some pieces didn’t get done last year. Track those here. Maybe for others, you’re building on them and there will be things in 2013 you’ll want to do next. Also, keep in mind, just because you did something last year doesn’t mean you need to do it again this year.
Part 3: Celebrate & Get Closure.
When you look back, you’ll probably be amazed by how much you accomplished. This alone can give you the confidence and peace of mind you’re on the right track, and the clarity you need to know what to do next.
Celebrate it. I really mean it. Give yourself a huge pat on the back for all you’ve done and all you’ve been in this world. Buy yourself a treat. Give yourself some self-care. Maybe a one-week digital sabbatical. Maybe a spa day. Whatever it is, let yourself have some real closure for all you’ve accomplished in 2012 so you can set your sights for an even bigger and better 2013!
It’s Your Turn.
What’s ONE accomplishment you’re proud of from 2012 and why? Please make a comment below this article and take your first step toward celebrating last year.
P.S. Speaking of 2013, I’d love to teach you how to plan 2013 in your business, based on YOUR vision, passion and strengths. The Annual Planning SystemTM is a do-it-yourself, on-demand workshop if you want an easy and fast way to plan the year, anytime of the year.