Be ready for 2024: Six ways to reflect and revive
Dec 13th, 2023
December brings with it an often manic race to finish off projects, socialise with clients and a big push to end the year on a high. The festive break, when it comes though, is the one time of the year when much of the business world stops and we have time to ourselves to recharge our batteries and reflect on the year gone by and what we want to achieve in the year ahead.
To move forward, you need to reflect and acknowledge what you have been through.
To help you make the most of that time, here are six suggestions for reflecting and renewing yourself over the festive break…
1. Reflect with some useful questions to support you
Many of us have lists of things we need to get done whilst off for the Christmas and New Year break. Make sure you include time to think and reflect in this list. It could be an hour or an afternoon, but use the time to ask yourself some important questions designed to look back at what you have achieved in 2023 and the challenges you might have overcome.
You can download my End of Year Reflection Questions
at the end of this article to use as a guide.
These questions will help you to reflect on your accomplishments and think about what you have learned about yourself and others over the past year. They will also encourage you to consider how your priorities may have changed and what actions you may need to take to create opportunities for success and growth in 2024.
We often forget how our home life impacts our work life, so don’t just focus on career based answers, because it is important that you fulfil your personal goals and ambitions too.
2. Make good choices to navigate your career
The end of the year can often provoke thoughts about your career and how you navigate that, so it is important that the decisions you make about your next role are considered and based on critical factors.
A primary factor is knowing what you have enjoyed about the current and previous roles you have had – and what has made you successful in them. You want to make sure the next role has those fundamental aspects to build on your success.
I recall hearing the CEO of an Asian bank being asked the question of how she navigated her career. She explained how she had, over a number of years, made a note of the activities where she felt motivated and particularly enjoyed. This evolved as she took on new roles and it created a valuable criteria on which to base her decisions when taking a new role. She explained she would compare the job descriptions of potential roles with how it correlated with her list. I call this your ‘Happy List’ and encourage my clients to create one, so they have some control and clarity over how they navigate their career and what they say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to.
Following a company restructure, a client was seeking her next opportunity. She had several offers and found that the process of creating and defining her ‘happy list’ gave her clarity. This enabled her to find the role that would motivate her and that she could succeed in. Her first two months in her new job confirmed to her that she made the right decision and she is already making an impact.
3. Set your 2024 priorities
Is there something you have been putting off that you can make sure you prioritise this year? Or are there any habits you might want to change or work on?
The MD of a growing company became aware that he often neglected acknowledging progress and the smaller achievements and successes of his team. He was naturally focused on the bigger picture and wasn’t giving credit to the smaller wins, which was influencing morale. He made this a priority to focus on this year and has reported the difference this makes to the motivation and commitment levels of his team.
When setting priorities, consider the various roles you play in your life. Whether it’s as a leader, parent, mentor, charity trustee or business partner; identify one small change that would make a difference to each role. And don’t forget to block out dates for significant family events and holidays, even if the destination is undecided. The act of reserving this time not only gives you something to look forward to but also serves as a reminder to keep that time available.
4. Find positives in challenges faced
A number of people I have worked with this year have gone through change, some unexpectedly. At times like this it is important to note your achievements and their impact when planning your next move. This not only reminds you of your track record of success, it also builds confidence.
In almost every case, those people have found a role that was even better and recognised in hindsight that it was the best thing that could have happened to them. When one door closes, another will open that is even better. You just need to be in the right mindset to notice it.
5. Bring your teams together
As markets evolve, we also need to. This can often means going back to the basics and agreeing with your team the values and behaviours that will optimise your success.
One of the most impactful programmes I ran this year was with a team of emerging leaders in different countries as part of succession planning. The core purpose was for them to establish themselves as a core team that would assist the future growth of the business. What they found most valuable was deciding on their values as a team and holding each other accountable to them. They have subsequently done this with their own teams and have recognised first-hand the impact this has had on their core business areas.
What set of values and behaviours do you and your team live by?
When a new player makes the All Blacks New Zealand national rugby squad, he is presented with a book that includes details of the principles, values, standards, code of honour, ethos and character of the team that all who wear the famous kit are expected to live up to. They are told to ‘Be purposeful’ ‘Add to the ethos’ and ‘create their own legacy’…all within these agreed rules and values.
6. Make a difference to someone.
Although Christmas is meant to be a joyous time, it can also be a tough time for people for many reasons.
Take some time to think about colleagues, or others, who may be going through a difficult period because of loss or circumstances beyond their control. Whether that is a neighbour who would welcome a chat, an old friend who needs a listening ear or a colleague who needs extra support.
People are often reluctant to ask for help. Your call or conversation could make more impact than you ever realise.
This simple reflective exercise will help you focus your mind for the year ahead and bring some clarity to what you want to achieve and what is going to make you happy.
As well as going through this exercise yourself, it can be beneficial to do it with your team too.
If you would like to explore the questions and your answers further, then a Vision Intensive programme in the New Year may be something worth you exploring – I’d be happy to talk you through how it works to see if it is right for you. Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a wonderful Christmas with your family, Happy New Year and enjoy this reflective time.