If the calendar turned to 2019 and you immediately felt behind because you didn’t have a plan in order for the new year, let me assure you, you are not behind. In fact, I’d say you’re right on schedule to be thinking about it now.

December is a crazy busy month. I wrote last year about how I use January for reflection and goal-setting, rather than trying to cram ONE MORE THING into the already-hectic month of December.

Goals I make in January tend to be more focused and realistic, and it’s way easier to stick to a new goal that starts February 1 instead of January 1.

If you want to join me, here’s how my January reflection process works.

1. Making the Time

I seem to need a chunk of time and space away from daily demands to feel the freedom to reflect on the previous year and imagine what could be in the new year.

I block out about an hour on my calendar for this exercise. If I get into it and I’m being particularly insightful, I’ll stretch it out longer. Usually not longer than two hours, though.

2. Questions to Ponder

Sitting down with a sheet of blank paper can be intimidating, so I put together a list of questions to guide my reflection. I review everything from my revenue and key metrics, to the risks I took and—one of the most important questions—whether or not I’m actually enjoying what I’m doing!

If you’re a free-form dreamer, take that blank paper and go for it! If you want my questions to help you review your business year, grab the printable worksheet here:

3. Setting Goals

For me, it’s important to separate reflecting from goal-setting. If I try to do them both at the same time, I seem to rush through the reflection part and then get super excited and start making goals that end up being haphazard and not very meaningful.

To combat this, I reserve a separate time to draft my goals. I might jot down goal ideas while I do my reflection, but I give myself a few days to calm down and sit with the insights of the previous year before jumping into full on planning mode.

Happy New Year!

The end of this year brought a lot of changes to my life—closing a studio, moving, selling a house, getting acclimated to life in a new(-ish) city, and exploring new entrepreneurial opportunities, to name a few—so I have plenty to reflect on.

I hope you’ll join me in the process!

Get the reflection question worksheet here:

What did you learn from your 2018 year-end review?

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