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December 19, 2019

Ring out the Old! Ring in the New! Year-end exercise.

Categories:  Coaching | Resources

“Follow effective action with quiet reflections.
From the quiet reflection will come
even more effective action.

– Peter Drucker

We are close to ringing out the old at the end of another year, and the end of a decade! We will be taking the time to reflect on 2019. We suggest you do the same. Take time now, ideally before the new year starts, to reflect on and celebrate YOUR 2019 accomplishments. What are you proud of? What challenges did you overcome? What results did you accomplish?

Of course, you can do this with your team but start with yourself first. Leadership starts within. And this is good modeling for your team!.

STEP ONE: Smarter New Year goals start with reflection. Here are some questions we recommend. They are available in a downloadable pdf worksheet.

What did you accomplish in 2019? What results did you achieve? What challenges did you address or overcome? What opportunities did you take advantage of? Look at successes in both your professional and personal lives. See the Professional Wheel to help you identify some major areas in your professional life. Keep writing them down until you cannot think of anymore – stretch yourself.

What were the moments of the greatest joy and fulfillment? This helps develop an appreciative and positive state of mind to reflect on all that is good in our lives and sets us up for what we want in the coming year -- but don’t jump ahead to the new year, just yet!

STEP TWO: From these two questions, now answer…

What are the top three things you want to celebrate? What will you do to celebrate? It could be something elaborate such as a vacation or it can be something very simple such as a walk in your favorite place or connecting with someone special. We find our clients and colleagues (and ourselves) often do not take this critical step, and instead we focus on what’s next. This can lead to losing sight of our strengths and accomplishments and have us striving and driving for more (potentially burning ourselves and our teams out). Recognition is often one of those areas where we as leaders and employers fall short ...and yet our employees most yearn for this.

What values were you honoring in order to achieve these accomplishments or moments of joy? Values are what you stand for, believe in, and what you hold as important. They are intrinsic to you like your own fingerprint. Examples are adventure, service, learning, integrity, authenticity, challenge, etc.

Who were the people whose relationships were important to you? Who were your supporters, mentors, guides, and friends? Who do you need to acknowledge and thank (e.g. colleagues, team members, mentors, coaches, family members, friends)?

What did you not accomplish? What stopped you from accomplishing what you had hoped to accomplish? What is still important to you now, to move to next year? This is not about making you wrong, rather it is looking at what may no longer be important to you or serve you. What resources, collaborators, and/or learning may you need in the future?

What would you do less of? More of? What do you need to let go of? This is important to acknowledge as well. So many of us are trying to do more than is humanly possible. And we may not be including some very important things in our work/personal lives (i.e. exercise, taking time to do 1:1’s with our staff, etc.).

You will want to move these to the next year along with anything you did not accomplish that remains important to the values that you want to honor.

STEP THREE: Ring in the New! From step one and two, you can start choosing and recording what you want in the next year. However, take more time in reflection for now. In January, we will focus on creating a plan for the new year and your own PersonalLeadership Retreat! For now, take time with this exercise over the holidays to help create a successful foundation. Drop us a line and let us know what and how you celebrated!

It’s your turn. Download and this worksheet to support the Reflection steps. Here is the link to the Professional Wheel. There is more to come!

Wishing you a wonderful season of joy, celebration, and connection!

The Heffelfinger Team -- @lori @james @kerry @margo @rebecca @robin @tammy

James Jackman & Lori Heffelfinger |

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