Entrepreneurs: Don’t Skip Your New Year Reflection

By December 23, 2021 March 6th, 2024 Small Business Planning

Last Updated on March 6, 2024 by Dave Schoenbeck

Every December, the media reminds us of everything that happened in the past year. While some might find it fun to reminisce, I prefer to focus on the future, not the past. When you look at your year in review near the end of Q4, you must use what you’ve experienced to make a plan for the coming year. A solid new year reflection can help you accomplish that.

How to Plan for a New Year

A photo of a New Year's noisemaker

Setting goals with intention is crucial for any business, and a thorough new year’s reflection is necessary to ensure you’ve learned the proper lessons from the previous year. Don’t move ahead with the goals you want to make before evaluating which plans you need to make. 

The new year’s reflection should be exciting. It’s a chance to celebrate your accomplishments and recognize your opportunities to improve. The key is to make sure you’re asking the right questions. 

Here is a new year reflection I like to use with my clients to help them think through the previous year and fire them up about the exciting challenges ahead.

  1. What worked well in this past year?
  2. What didn’t?
  3. What do you want to start doing?
  4. What should you stop doing?
  5. What should you keep the same?
  6. What were your significant initiatives? 
  7. How can you afford to fund next year’s plans?
  8. What knowledge about yourself are you missing that could make a significant difference in your business? Are there any new skills you could learn?
  9. Where should you focus your time and energy in the new year? 
  10. Did anything in your business change this year, major or minor?
  11. What are the things you ought to be doing to add the most value to your business?
  12. What would you do differently if you were braver?
  13. What leadership style elicits top performance from your team?
  14. Where have you excelled, and how have you been disappointed?
  15. If you can think of a mentor you could trust, real or fictional, ask yourself:  what would that person tell you to do right now?
  16. What are you demanding from your people that you aren’t demanding of yourself?
  17. Where are you out of touch with reality?
  18. If you were an employee in your company, what would you want?
  19. What greatness could you achieve if you really focused on it?
  20. Where are you stuck?
  21. What kind of role model are you for your people?
  22. What challenging issues did you avoid last year?
  23. Are your customers thrilled? If not, what will you do to excite them this year?
  24. Are you willing to tackle challenging issues?
  25. What is your unique value add, and are you bringing it to the table?

The most important thing is, to be honest with yourself when thinking over the year that’s passed. If we don’t look at our rearview mirror accurately, it’ll be hard to chart the right course moving forward. 

If this new year reflection has helped you realize your goals for the coming year, don’t hesitate to make them happen. A business coach can help you solidify your new year plans. So click here to fill out my contact form, and let’s work on your business new year resolutions

Coach Dave


Dave Schoenbeck
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