October 25, 2014

7 Questions to Close A Year Strong and Start Another Stronger

Our time and what we do with it is our most precious commodity, and one of the most challenging tasks we manage, given our fast paced, hyper connected, massive content driven world.

It is imperative that we wrap ourselves around this, so that it doesn’t wrap itself around us.

Do you wonder why the years  fly by more quickly as we age? I do, and there is an explanation for it.

In an article from Psychology Today:

“The best answer for this phenomenon is that the early years are full of first-time events – your first date, the birth of your first child, that first big vacation, etc. First occasions are novel events and we tend to make more detailed and lasting memories of those first times. When we repeat the event, year after year, it is less likely to make a unique or lasting impression.”

It’s all about “time perception” and savoring the time we have. We can slow down the pace of life, at least psychologically, by taking advantage of new and unique experiences, living more in the present, envisioning optimism and using time more wisely.

So, as we close out the year and start another, an honest, candid house cleaning and review does wonders for keeping us growing and on track.  Not everything works out the way we had hoped it would, and some things work out better than we anticipated.

Ask yourself these 7 questions to close out one year strong and start another even stronger:

Am I  In My Sweet Spot?

If you are not doing work you love and want to do, it’s very difficult to sustain your motivation and commitment. Discover and dive into where your true passions are and make that your sweet spot, where you live most of the time. There will always be things we don’t love, but they go with the territory.

How Well Is Everything Really Working?

I just finished my annual reading of Spencer Johnson‘s gem, Who Moved My Cheese.  Hem wrote this on The Handwriting on The Wall:

“Monitor change, smell the cheese often so you know when it’s getting old.”

Frequently monitor how everything is really working. Trust your instincts, your guts, and proactively change things.

Are My Relationships Mutually Beneficial?

True, authentic relationships with family, friends and colleagues based on mutuality and trust have the best chance of enduring. If there isn’t mutuality and trust in your relationships, then maybe it’s time to let go of them or make them work better.

How Can I Improve My Time Management and Organization?

Prioritizing, organizing and time blocking everything is the only way to control what we do and why we do it. The level of distractions today, combined with stuff we hate to do, makes a bad recipe for getting behind and off track.

This is a skill anyone can improve on.  Get some help or have a heart to heart with yourself.  Be more disciplined about this.

How Can I Improve My Brand, Marketing and Networking?

Look at and review your brand visuals and messaging,  how you are marketing it and how you are blending your face to face and online networking and marketing activities. Are you getting out and meeting people in person and engaging online enough?

Here are 13 marketing musts for 2013 that can help and guide you.

What Am I Really Proud Of Right Now?

Taking inventory is not always about what’s wrong or needs improvement. It’s also about the things we accomplished in spite of odds or challenges.

Be proud of yourself things you have achieved and use that to motivate  and propel you forward.

What Are 5 Intentions Your Have for The Coming Year?

Intentions are the fluid, envisioning what we want to happen in our lives. Resolutions, to me, are to rigid.

Make a realistic list of 5 intentions you have and want to happen in the coming year. Prepare yourself, get ready for them to happen. Stay ready and move yourself in the direction of where you want things to go. Set, plan, prepare, point and go!

From The Handwriting on The Wall (Hem, Who Moved My Cheese):

  • Change happens
  • Anticipate change
  • Monitor change
  • Adapt to change quickly
  • Change
  • Enjoy change
  • Be ready to change quickly again and again

What are things you can do to end a year strong and start a new one stronger?

Time Photo via Shutterstock

10 Comments ▼

Deborah Shane


Deborah Shane Deborah Shane is a past staff writer for Small Business Trends covering marketing, branding and social media topics. She is a Top 100 Small Business Champion, career transition consultant, personal branding strategist and social media specialist. Deborah hosts her Top 100 Small Business Podcast weekly. Her book #trusthewhy Fundamentals, Values and Humor Get You Through Anything and award winning "Career Transition: Make the Shift" (2011) are available through all major book sellers.

10 Reactions

  1. Fantastic post, Deborah. These really are some great questions to ask yourself. I’ve been doing this inside of my business as well, taking inventory because I want to makes sure I set clear and concise goals for myself in 2013. Your piece gave me some great additional questions to ask myself so I can deeper examine my business. Thanks so much for sharing this with us. I really appreciate it!

    Ti

  2. I was thumbing through, rather, scrolling through some things in my inbox and ran across your article. It was about the only thing that caught my attention, and I really didn’t expect to get much from it, but then I started reading and realized that it was just what I needed on this new years eve. Thanks! Now I have to get started on that list of 5 intentions before midnight central time.

  3. Thanks for including this on your site!

  4. Thanks for including this in your great article on closing out the year and starting another.

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