As you strive to reach your business goals; eyes constantly on the future, searching for new opportunities, new ideas and better solutions – do you ever stop to look back along the path you have travelled?
Pausing on your journey and looking back can seem like an indulgent and extravagant use of your precious time. But the view from where you are, back along the road to where you were 12 months ago can provide invaluable insights. It can give a birds-eye-view of your business habits and mindset and reveal patterns that you may not be aware of.
If you are a dedicated goal-setter, the view back over the last 12 months will be clearly mapped with milestones and landmarks. These will show your progress, measure your learning, and ultimately provide you with a sense of fulfilment
Even if you’ve not set specific goals, yet your year has been one of momentum, your path will be obvious and measurable.
Purposeful reflection is a simple exercise in looking back to review what worked, and what didn’t work for your business. You will find these three exercises highly valuable:
1) Review your goals
If you have your goals from 12 months ago, check-off the ones you achieved and make a note of the ones you didn’t and ask yourself “why is this so?”
2) Top three
List your three favourite achievements – these don’t necessarily need to be your listed goals, or the most valuable business achievements – but the three things that gave you a real sense of fulfilment. Assess these against your why; the reason you are in business– is there congruence between your why and your sense of fulfilment?
3) Bottom three
Which three things didn’t work well this year, where were the struggles, the results that looked good but left you feeling flat and unfulfilled? Look at the reasons why they didn’t work. Again, look at the essential reasons you are in business, and find the incongruence.
The real value in reflection is threefold. One, your sense of fulfilment increases when you are able to measure the distance you have travelled. Two, if assessed honestly, this information will give you a deeper understanding of the values that drive your business behaviour. And three, this exercise will give you the tools to refine your mindset and set your itinerary for the next 12 months so you can go forward, renewed and inspired.