As we welcome a new year, I encourage you to take some time for reflection and purposeful planning – before getting swept up into the routines and putting out of fires. Don’t put off this exercise or it likely won’t happen and you’ll miss the benefits that come from strategic reflection and planning.
Reflect on the last year.
What goals did you have?
Did you accomplish those goals?
If so, what worked well and helped you succeed; if not, what obstacles got in your way?
Did you pivot? Should/could you have pivoted?
What were the highlights of the year?
What are you most proud of?
What were the low points of the year?
What are you most concerned with improving?
What lessons did you learn?
How can you apply those lessons moving forward?
Do you have unfinished business from 2020 that you want to address in 2021?
Looking ahead to the new year:
What are goals for 2021?
Break those goals down into quarterly goals.
Break those goals down into monthly goals.
How will you intentionally involve your team in shaping and achieving these goals?
What professional development activities will you and your team engage in to help you achieve these goals?
How regularly will you meet with your team to revisit your goals, assess progress, and reassess goals and activities as needed?
How will you apply the lessons learned from 2020?
Do you need to adjust and pivot from previous years – if so, how will you engage your team in that process?
Carve out time to do this exercise within the next two weeks - put time on the calendar and make that time sacred (don't push it down the priority list and let other things take over).
Sincerely reflect on the questions and write down your answers. Be purposeful and intentional, and when you compose your answers for the new year, create accountability mechanisms.
Engage your team as much as possible, both in the review and planning, but also in the implementation and accountability. For extra credit, conduct this exercise at the end of each quarter!