What were your accomplishments this year?

by Kate on December 13, 2010

As you reflect on the year, did things turn out as planned? At this time of year, thoughts often turn to looking back: “Did we get done what we planned?” – before looking forward to next year’s goals.

If you had big plans this year, it’s quite likely that not all of your goals were accomplished, at least not in the way you expected. It can be frustrating that success, when it comes, is often far from predictable (predictable success is achievable, but it can take a while to reach that point).

In the real world, stuff happens! An unexpected turn in the economy, losing a customer or gaining a huge new account, an expansion opportunity, or a dramatic shift in our personal life. These things can throw us off course.

We know this, yet often persist in thinking things should work out according to our master plan. Since the journey of business is full of ups, downs and detours, approaching year end you might catch yourself saying: “Oh yes, it’s been a tough/challenging/hard/long year. Phew! Let’s move on” (as you start a new goal sheet)

Not so fast! You’ve got through the year and I’m willing to bet you’ve accomplished some great things. Now is the perfect time to acknowledge that.

Optimism helps you deal with reality

One of the hallmarks of a great leader is their commitment to examine reality and deal with it powerfully. If something’s not working, or when things don’t go to plan, they address the problem and keep moving towards the goal. Setbacks don’t stop them – or at least not for long.

Because there will inevitably be setbacks and dark days, it helps to have an optimistic world view. This is not a ‘head in the sand’ or Pollyanna-ish optimism, but rather the ability to see problems as a transient impediment and confidence in your own ability to get things done.

What can you do to maintain that confidence and optimism, so you can tackle the challenges that will come at you in business and in life?

Acknowledge your accomplishments

One way to maintain an optimistic outlook is to intentionally reflect on your accomplishments. This helps lock them into your mind so you can draw on them for confidence when you hit a rough patch.

Acknowledging accomplishments can help you:

  • Recognise the progress you have made.
  • Put the ups and downs of your business journey into perspective.
  • Recognise how dealing with difficult circumstances has built your leadership muscle.
  • Identify what you have found satisfying and prompt thoughts about future goals and plans

Here are some questions to get you started on looking at what you (or your team) have accomplished this year. It’s ideal to explore them by talking through with someone you trust: a mentor, business or life partner. Afterwards, consider making a few notes for future reference.

  • What were your accomplishments?
  • How did your actions contributed to success?
  • What strengths or talents did you discover about yourself?
  • If some things didn’t work as expected, what did you learn?
  • What patterns or themes do you notice?

(Photo credit: jayneadd)

What do you do for a powerful year-end review?

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Planning for a powerful 2011
December 29, 2010 at 5:33 pm

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