Do you look at the calendar every December in total disbelief that another year has run its course? If so, you’re just like me. But I also find that this is a perfect month for reflection; a time to think about all the things accomplished in 2016—and to consider what’s on the horizon in 2017.
Allowing yourself and your team space for reflection is important. You’ll likely recall some awesome moments, a few learning opportunities, and some frustrating—but necessary—obstacles. It can be easy to forget how much you’ve done—and even easier to downplay how far you have come over the past year.
So, I thought I’d share what I do at the end of each year to reflect, both personally and professionally, on what I have achieved—and what I want to accomplish in the year ahead.
Reflect on the Good
At CampusLogic, we start every meeting with a “positive focus.” Each attendee shares one positive thing with the group before we jump into the meeting’s agenda. Starting with the good —before anything else—puts everyone’s mind in a positive state, which allows for more creativity. It’s also a great way to start your year: With a positive focus.
Instead of trying to think through the entire year, recall each month separately. This will help you remember more of your accomplishments, and it will give you a great perspective on how far you’ve come. Write down every accomplishment—and don’t forget to reflect on your personal life as well!
Value All Lessons Learned
During reflection, you’ll probably start thinking of all the things that could have gone better. That’s great! Write down those issues, too. Taking time to reflect on what went well is awesome, but you also need to spend time on how you’ll improve things.
As we talked about in an earlier column, failure can drive innovation. Try not to think of the things that went wrong as “mistakes.” I like to think of them as “lessons learned”—if you learned something then what you did wasn’t a failure; it may have been a necessary obstacle to get you to a better place. Apply what you’ve learned to future endeavors.
What’s Your Goal For 2017?
In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll wrote, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” It’s a powerful quote about the importance of having a plan. Are you ready to start 2017 with a goal in mind—and do you know what you need to do every day to hit that goal?
You know that nothing ever goes 100% according to plan. But a clear direction will ensure you’re always moving toward your goal.
Discipline around setting goals is important, too—especially in a work environment. At CampusLogic we follow the 4DX (The 4 Disciplines of Execution) methodology, using Wildly Important Goals (WIGs) and Leading Measures—daily tasks that help us get to our WIGs—that we track relentlessly. This planning methodology helps us achieve the challenging goals we’ve set for ourselves. It also helps us stay focused when we find ourselves caught in the whirlwind of our workplace.
I hope you will invest some time to reflect on 2016, and start planning for an awesome 2017. At CampusLogic, we keep our eyes focused every year on our founding purpose, which is to: “Help schools change lives.”
While our purpose never changes, as a team we are always refining our approach to make sure we are on the right track.