"So, how was your year?"
Ugh. The dreaded holiday party small talk question. You just wanted to enjoy your egg nog in peace.
Unless you have a seasonal business, the holidays signal the beginning of a wind down, and a slow ramp back up in January. It also signals a time for reflection on the year. When people look at where they were at and decide whether or not the year was "good" or not.
I can tell you this, a lot of people will probably decide 2016 can have the old heave-ho.
Regardless of whether 2016 was one for the history books, or a year you want to erase from history, there is one thing that rings true for us time and again. We don't celebrate our small wins. In fact, sometimes we even take these small wins and use them against ourselves to berate ourselves for why we didn't do better.
Before we launch into an in-depth 3 part series about kicking off 2017 in grandiose fashion, a little reflection is in order:
What was one thing you created, built, experienced, or did this year that you are proud of?
For me, I am always tempted to immediately think about all the things that went wrong and areas I fell short. (Negativity bias FTW!)
But instead, if I turn the ship I realize that I actually had some big wins this year!
- I re-designed and rebuilt my entire course and transferred it from Udemy to my own platform. Renamed it Roadmap to Revenue. I launched my website, I began to write emails and create content and built a little community of people interested in reading about the stuff I like to write about.
- My business grew, we got a new office, we added some great new team members.
- I got a new dog, my sweet baby Max.
- Created and will (soon) launch a brand new fund just for women entrepreneurs here in Portland (Announcement coming soon, so excited.) I had to step back and become a "founding board member" and allow the fund to be run by professionals with actual experience running funds, but it started from nothing in August.
- My friend group shrunk a bit, but the relationships are more deep and meaningful than I used to have.
Not too shabby for a s*!tty year!
Now it's your turn!
Ask yourself the question above. What was one thing (or more!) that you created, built, experienced, or did this year that you are proud of?
Take some time on this one guys. Seriously. It's still only the 6th of December. There's no race.
Next, what are two huge things you can do right now to light your inspiration fires and get your wheels turning?
1. What is ONE area where improvement that will make a drastic impact on your life and business.
It takes a lot of work, muscle, hustle, and let's be real, a little magic to make our dreams a reality. So as you begin to think about bursting out the gates in 2017, why wouldn't you focus your efforts on something that would make a real measurable difference? What happened (or didn't happen) in your business in 2016 that you'd like to see change? What is the one thing that if the situation were different, so many other things would change too? For many of us this is increasing sales, but it could be a lot of things. What is your one area for massive impact?
Feeling stuck? This can be a hard question for some.
I suggest setting a timer for 15-20 minutes and free writing. Or try going for a walk, hitting the gym. Pull back from your devices and get some mental clarity. The morning is a great time to tackle problems and hard questions as well, because our brains are fresher. This one is a big one!
2. Pinpoint one (ok maybe two...) things that you can start working on right now that would change this.
When I say "right now." I don't actually mean this second. But I mean in the very very near term future. For me, the thing I started working on is building a funnel. Because the funnel is what I am going to need to achieve my ONE thing. Building a funnel takes a lot of work, so I try to do at least 1 activity each day that contributes to building my funnel.
Focused effort in one area over time is where incredible progress occurs. If you haven't seen the progress you were hoping for in your one area in 2016, it could be due to a lack of sustained, focused effort. I wrote a blog post about this a while back.
That may have happened in the past, but it doesn't have to happen anymore. Now is your time to reflect, and determine what you need to make meaningful progress. Don't overload or overwhelm yourself, just carve out a little bit of time and space in your brain for this incredibly important reflection.
And don't forget to check back next week for Part 2 of Burst out the gates in 2017 which will revolve around goals.
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