As the year 2020 approaches, it is such a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the past year’s successes, what we learned and what we want to create in the year ahead. It’s so easy to just let life take us down the river and to end up in a place where we don’t want to be. Creating a system to check in with your team to make sure you are heading in the right direction is important. And it can be a fun and creative process that you all look forward to each year.
You may ask yourself
What is that beautiful house?
You may ask yourself
Where does that highway go to?
And you may ask yourself
Am I right? Am I wrong?
And you may say to yourself
“My God! What have I done?”
Talking Heads “Once in a Lifetime”
To make sure I don’t look back and ask myself, “My God! What have I done?” I like to give myself time to reflect on the previous year and to dream about what I want the next year to feel like. It’s less about the ‘what’ I want to create and more about how I want the upcoming year to ‘be’. This helps me make the ‘how’ and ‘what’ decisions as they arise and keep me moving in the right direction in the year ahead.
I have a structure that I have created for this process that works for me. I do it every year and it’s a great way for me to get perspective. We will also be doing a version of this with the Fundraising Leadership team this month.
I look back on the personal and work things that happened in 2019 and celebrate where I moved forward, overcame a situation or tried something new. This year, I joined Fundraising Leadership, sang in a rock choir and successfully transitioned my daughter to college! Woohoo! These are all BIG things for me and it feels wonderful to celebrate them! I also like to notice what energized me and what depleted my energy. This helps me decide where I will continue to say ‘yes’ and where I will say ‘no’ in the year ahead.
Some helpful questions to ask your team in this reflection process are:
- What were our greatest successes of 2019?
- What would we like to celebrate?
- What did we overcome? What risks did we take?
- What are we grateful for?
- What was our biggest failure?
- What was our biggest regret?
- What lessons have we learned?
CREATING WHAT’S NEXT:
Next, I create a collage. Yes, it’s an old fashioned collage from magazine clippings! I put logic aside as I do this. I put together images that create a feeling in me that I want more of. This sounds crazy, but when I look at this collage over the course of the year, certain images become completely obvious that they were a metaphor for something I was wanting. It helps me to continue to create ‘that’ going forward. Images help people to access things that they can’t quite put into words, creating possibilities that weren’t available in conversations. I encourage you to try this with your team.
I also like to map out what I want to create in the year ahead. Here is where I get more specific about goals. I refer to this ‘map’ over the course of the year to check in. The map serves as a reminder of where I want to focus my energy. Using this process in teams creates clarity about where you are heading in the coming year. Of course, circumstances will change over time, and you can refer back to this as a group to know where to refocus your energy. These are some of the questions that I ask for this process:
- What will we say ‘yes’ to?
- What will we say ‘no’ to?
- What will we try that we’ve never done before?
- What is the risk we are willing to take?
- What support will we need?
- One year from now….
Creating a system for your own year-end review and goal-setting is an opportunity to stop yourself and your team from getting caught in patterns that are not helpful and cause you to lose control over your direction. Have fun with the process. Create a team ‘retreat’ and get creative. You will be more energetic and recharged in the new year. You will make better decisions as the year progresses and you will be proud of what you create in 2020.
Share with me one thing you did in 2019 that you want to celebrate. It’ll be fun to celebrate with you!