TT#043 - 10 simple questions to guide your year-end review…

Dec 27, 2022
TT#043 - 10 simple questions to guide your year-end review…

Call me crazy, but I like New Year’s resolutions. 

I get why they’ve earned a bad rap. Around January 1st each year, sales of gym memberships, books, meal planning systems, nicotine aids and other self-improvement products will skyrocket. Only to fall right back to where they were within a couple months. 

But that doesn’t mean New Year’s resolutions are a complete waste of time. It means the good intentions they stem from need some additional support in order to make them stick and drive lasting change. 

For me, that support is a process to reflect on what’s worked, what hasn’t, and plan for the year ahead. Here’s the simple 10-question framework I use as part of my process to do just that. 

1: What’s one word I’d use to describe how I feel about my business right now? 

One of the salespeople at Dan Martell’s SaaS Academy came up with this question for their discovery calls. I thought it was so powerful that I added it to my year-end review. 

I love this question because it forces you to tune into something that’s frequently ignored, but very influential in the long-term success of your business: feelings.

If the business feels rewarding, the focus becomes maintaining or improving that. If the business is bringing you down, the focus becomes changing that.  

2: What were my biggest wins this year? 

Chances are you’ve forgotten a lot of the wins you stacked up throughout the year. But you’ve worked too hard to let those go that easily. 

Aim to identify 20 substantial wins, achievements, and accomplishments you’ve had throughout the year. It’ll feel damn good, and it sets up the next question. 

3: What can I learn from those wins? 

Evaluate the wins you listed above. Chances are there was a decision you made or chance you took that helped set those wins up? What were those decisions, chances, or actions?

The goal is to reverse engineer success, learn what led to it, and replicate it in the future.  

4: Which of my bets didn’t pan out this year? 

Business is like a poker game: Even when you’re doing things well, you won’t win every hand. If you aren’t chalking up some losses, you probably aren’t playing big enough. 

What are the bets you made throughout the year that didn’t pan out as intended? This is the first step in making sure we learn from mistakes, which we’ll talk about next. 

5: What were the lessons I learned from those losses? 

Every bet that doesn’t pan out is an opportunity to learn something new. It’s tuition, or the cost of learning. 
But it doesn’t just happen on its own. It takes some reflection and clarification on what we learned, which is how we avoid repeating them. 

What was your takeaway from each of the bets that didn’t go your way this past year? 

6: What gave me energy / made me feel alive this year? 

Audit your calendar and reflect on the personal and professional activities that gave you energy and made you feel alive. 

Was it working with a specific client? Or doing a specific type of work? Something else? 

Do the same for personal engagements. Which relationships and activities were the ones that gave you energy throughout the year?  

The goal is to create a “keep doing these things” list for the upcoming year.  

7: What drained my energy / made me feel trapped this year?

Do the same thing and reflect on what drained your energy this past year. 

Were there certain clients, types of work, or activities that you just didn’t like doing throughout the year? 

On the personal side, were there relationships that drained you and weighed you down more than they contributed to your growth? 

The goal is to create a “stop doing these things” list for the upcoming year. 

8: What habits do I want to maintain, create, and ditch in the coming year (at least one of each)?

The vast majority of what you do every day is habitual. 

How you eat, sleep, drink, work, and relate to others is almost exclusively driven by the habits you’ve established. It’s why this quote from William Durant (not Aristotle as it’s often misattributed) is so powerful: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” 

What are the habits that served you well this past year? 

What are the habits you’d like to develop for the upcoming year? 

What are the habits you’d like to eliminate from your lifestyle this upcoming year?

9: What are 3 things that, if not accomplished by this time next year, will make me feel most disappointed? 

Fast forward 12 months from now. Picture yourself doing this same exercise and reflecting on the year that’s passed. 

What are 3 things you know you’ll regret not accomplishing by the end of next year? 

The purpose of this is to nail down the few things that matter most.   

10: What needs to happen to eliminate any possibility of not accomplishing them? 

High performers don’t rely on randomness or luck to hit their goals. They work backwards from the finish line and create actionable steps to get there.  

The 3 things you listed above are the primary goals for the year. Now ask yourself what needs to happen in order to achieve them? What steps need to be taken? 

Breaking the directional goals down into actionable steps is what separates dreamers from achievers. 

You don’t have to wait until the end of the year to reflect and plan. But a new calendar can mean a fresh start from things that are holding you back. And it’s an opportunity to double down on what’s carrying you forward.

Whether you use this framework or your own, the important thing is that you’re reflecting and planning for the growth of yourself and your business. 

I hope this gives you a launchpad to make 2023 your best year yet. 

I’m on a mission to help 10,000 Entrepreneurs discover and enjoy a new lifestyle by creating income they deserve from wherever they choose doing work they love.

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