Working Through A Personal Year End Review by Cindy Stradling CSL, CPC

2020 is a year when many well-designed goals, as well as personal and professional objectives, were pushed to the back burner. For many in leadership and professional roles, the first half of the year was spent trying to convert traditional companies to remote work companies, addressing all of the technology, human resource, and security issues of this transition.

The second half of the year was spent struggling through economic uncertainty, challenges in moving forward in increasingly challenging markets, and in continuing to address the problems and issues brought about by COVID-19. In all of this, personal and professional goals may not have been the same central area of focus as in past years.

The holiday season is a time to reflect on those goals and recognize some of the fantastic, even if unplanned, accomplishments you or your business accomplished. This is not a time to harshly criticize yourself for not meeting those goals set way back in 2019 before COVID-19 was known. It is a time to regroup, to consider where you are today, and to think about the issues you and your business will face in 2021.

What Did You Do That Was Amazing?

Start by making a list of all the accomplishments you made in 2020. Did you move your business to remote employment, develop the technology infrastructure to connect your business with your customers, or manage challenges with balancing home and work life while doing it all from your living room?

Perhaps you mastered your fear of online presentations, selected a new automated CRM or operational software system, moved your business to the cloud, or navigated the world of managing and hiring employees virtually. If you continued to operate your business as an essential service, you may have implemented new employee support services, provided outreach to the community, or developed your leadership style to support your employees and customers going through difficult times.

What Didn’t Work?

Taking a closer look at what didn’t work in your business is also important. This is not to focus on the negative, but to gather the take-away knowledge from the efforts and use the knowledge in developing personal and business goals for the upcoming year. It helps set realistic goals for 2021, particularly with the ongoing uncertainty of when life will return to the new normal post-COVID-19.

It is critical to set goals for 2021. It may be tempting to put off goal setting, but it leaves a void or a lack of direction in our plans. This year, set realistic goals and add on some stretch goals, providing the opportunity to challenge yourself to focus on areas of interest and passion as the year evolves.