It’s that time of year – thinking about next year! You’ll hear or be asked: “It’s time to set goals!” or “What are your goals for next year?” and that is important of course.

But too often the goals for next year are set without important information to identify realistic and achievable goals, the information gleaned by pausing to review THIS year!

Think about it…we start envisioning the next year. And typically, we either know what we want and start writing that future desired outcome. But still wonder what it will take to make that a reality.

Or, we have no idea what we really want, what is realistic, whether we deserve it. And all kinds of self-talk starts to get in the way.

That’s why, before we move forward, we need to look back.

What’s in Your Rear View?

It’s like driving a car. Before we pull out into traffic, we need to look at what’s in front of us AND we need to check the rear view and side mirrors to make sure nothing behind us will get in the way and all is a “go” before revving it up to the speed limit.

That’s why I strongly promote a Year-End Review — questions to reflect on — and answers to consider when setting those annual goals.

Question 1: Your Satisfaction

So, let me share 3 really important KEY questions for a short and powerful Year-End Review:

  1. On a scale of 1-4, (1 is low, 4 is high) and rate: How satisfied am I with these metrics/amounts and why.

We’ll start with the easy ones:

a. The percentage of time I spend working with the clients I want to.

b. The percentage of time I am doing the work I want to.

Now the tougher ones: How satisfied am I with: (1 is low, 4 is high)

c. My lagging indicators for my business/outcomes (ex. revenue, income generated, # of new clients converted or sourced and converted, profitability, etc.)

d. My leading indicators (ex. effort, activity level, # of ideal clients vs less than ideal, hours spent, resources used, and here’s a leading indicator you might not have thought of: How satisfied am I with my belief in the possibility of achieving these metrics?)

2 More Key Questions

  1. What obstacles did I break through to achieve the outcomes I have today? What did I learn from those experiences?
  2. Who has been instrumental in helping and guiding me this year?

What’s in Your Control?

What do your responses tell you?

There’s ALWAYS variables out of our control — whether you’re tracking weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually.

But what about the variables that ARE in your control? That’s what you need to review.

Your Keep/Start/Stop List

And now the 3 questions to guide you as you put together your plan for achieving next year’s goals. These are your Keep/Start/Stop:

  1. What is working well and I want/need to keep?
  2. What do I need to start to achieve my goals?
  3. What is not working well and I need to stop?

20 Minutes for a Powerful 2021

And there you have it. This shouldn’t take more than 15-20 minutes — or you are overthinking it. Make note of your responses so you can use that information as you SET achievable goals.

If you want more detail, I share more about these questions and their importance in a virtual workshop.

When you complete this year-end review, you’ll be in a much stronger position to set realistic goals that you can rev you up for next year.

The Two Key Ingredients for Effective Goals

And setting those goals is important, but often the way the goals are set miss two key ingredients. That’s what I’ll share in the next video.

Stay tuned because these ingredients are game changers that increase your probability of achieving the goals you set.

But first, take that look back and complete your Year-End Review.