8 Things to Review, Refine and Refocus for Any New Year

new year business review

Yep, the end of any year is hectic, crazy and disruptive but it’s also a key time to review, refine and refocus on our accomplishments, changes and how we dealt with our challenges.

Ultimately, we should look mostly at the pluses, but be honest about the minuses and how they have held you back. There are always endless positive insights and lessons to be learned from them.

I don’t do resolutions as they are too rigid for me.  I prefer setting my intentions, which are more fluid and allow me to decide what I would like to see happen, then set myself up and be ready for them to happen. I call it “active dreaming” which adds the “doing” to the dreaming.

I have to constantly be monitoring myself on several levels. Self appraisal with a healthy dose of honesty is a valuable tool. Developing our EQ (Emotional Quotient) is a huge asset in business success in addition to our IQ.

Our professional success is only possible if our house is in order. We need to know ourselves, change ourselves when it’s called for and trust ourselves more than we sometimes do.

According to Talent Smart, 90% of high performers at the work place possess high EQ, while 80% of low performers have low EQ. Emotional Intelligence is absolutely essential in the formation, development, maintenance and enhancement of close personal relationships.

Below are eight items to review, refine and refocus that can jump start any year.

Your New Year Business Review

Work Life Balance

All work and no play, or too much play and not enough work, definitely impacts our happiness and success.

Trying to put into place your best balance is an effort whose value we should never underestimate.

Health and Wellness

It is ultimately your responsibility to take care of yourself. Employee wellness is a top priority now, as it can cost companies $23 billion each year, according to the Wall Street Journal, and impacts hiring and retention.

Healthier employees make more productive workers. Take a look at these 46 healthiest companies to work for and what they are doing.

Coping Skills

How are your coping skills?

All of us go through uncertainty, health issues, sudden change and other life events that we must be able to work through. What are the best coping activities and mechanisms you have in place and what do you need to do to refine them?

We can never have too many coping skills.

Skill Gaps

Career retention and job search change are ongoing. Make sure you are qualified for the jobs you want and the one you currently have. Don’t fall behind, stay ahead.

Upgrade both your hard and soft skills, especially if you are in technology, healthcare, medical and professional services. Develop more likeability, be more of a team player and take more initiatives to develop leadership.

People who show thoughtful initiative will be rewarded.


Networking and making quality connections both online and in person are the most non-negotiable part of standing out as an employee or small business owner. Focus on the pillar social media marketing tactics including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, blogging and eMarketing and go out and meet people in person and at local and national events.

Show up, connect, engage and grow relationships daily. Find the time, make the time, invest more time and be selective.


Get rid of them, work through them, resolve them and let them go. They are not productive or good energy to hold onto.


What do you want to see happen in your life this year? What do you need to do to make them happen?

Move yourself in the direction you want to go. Your career path is your responsibility. Set the tasks, timelines and tone, which will impact the outcome.

Optimism and Kindness

These two assets are capable of changing anything and everything and building so much good faith and good will.

Be willing to uncover everything  you need to know about yourself to get your house in order, inside and out and continue to refine your who, what and why.

Big commitment – but even bigger payoff.

Review Photo via Shutterstock


Deborah Shane Deborah Shane has been recognized as a Top 100 Small Business Champion and Top 50 SMB Influencer (Dunn and Bradstreet 2015). She is a career transition author, personal branding and social media specialist. Deborah's book "Career Transition: Make the Shift" is available through all major book sellers.

18 Reactions
  1. I think in 2014, I really need to focus on my intentions, be serious about them, really flesh them out, and believe that whatever I set my sights on can happen, that I can make them happen.

    • That’s an awesome “intention”. Decide what you want to happen, prepare and make things happen. You can and you will. Thanks for your support this year here Ebele.

      • Thanks for the encouragement, Deborah. I’m gonna start planning over the next few days; start stirring that ‘intention’ soup :-).

        Thanks to you too for your contribution to the site and the conversations that have come from them.

        All the best to you in 2014, whatever your intentions are.

  2. Great list, Deborah. These are pretty much the same focus areas I’d suggest to anyone who is looking for the formula for a great life and a successful business.

    I’m a huge believer in the power of kindness and and especially appreciate that you included it on your list!

    • Thanks Sheree, Indeed it is a “great formula” and the kindness really makes a big difference in relationship building and retention.

  3. We really need to segregate all aspects of our lives- personal, professional and otherwise in order to balance them optimally.
    Your articles are always a nice read Deborah.

  4. Thanks for your support there Sam. I appreciate your comments.There is work-life balance, I promise and everyone can find their own.

  5. Thanks for the list Deborah, I think health and wellness is the most important as it can affect how we work and run our businesses. Relationships should also be worked on; when they are strengthened, we can have a very formidable bond that can enable us to do anything we set our minds to.

    • Your welcome Ed, thanks for stopping by and your comment. Success is an inside -out job. Our commitment to be healthy impacts just about everything we need to do. Happy and healthy New Year to you!

  6. Big list to follow. But it’s very important to Time for reviewing. Time for reconciliation of previous guideline, social impact, direction, active action etc with 2013 and start to open the 365 days pages of 2014.

    • Shafiqul, I find it most productive to review what is and is not working and make the adjustments as the year unfolds. All the best for your successful 2014!

  7. Hi Deborah.
    Thanks for the good list. This must be the best way to kick off 2014. This article was specially insightful for me for I’ve set many goals to seek this year and it’s very nice to review your personal business before putting everything into practice. Greetings from Brazil.

    • Hello Rafael, thank you for your comment and hello from Brazil. Surely, on the top of my travel bucket list. I hope these insights help you to have your best year ever! Please come back.

  8. For 2014, my focus is on health and balance. I acquired some pretty serious conditions in the past year so now I am focusing on detoxing my body so that I can feel better.

    • That is wonderful goal and I wish you all the best and brightest in 2014. Thank you for all your support here and thoughtful comments.

  9. Deborah, I’m constantly amazed at how important relationships are. My focus this year is on building my social relationships to increase expertise in my niche. However, I’m also being intentional to nurture the personal relationships I have with my clients. For far too long I’ve thrown more and more money at marketing as an attempt to attracting new leads, forgetting that the clients I already have are the best source for future business. A hand written letter and a box of brownies to a past client can generate more good will and referral power than a direct mail campaign costing thousands might bring in. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Matt, I love the way you are thinking about this. We all need to attract more leads, but once we do that, it must shift to the growing the relationship and finding our best synergy and mutuality. There is nothing I have found that creates more magic than face to face time with someone, or a dedicated phone call. All the best and please come back.