Seven Questions that Will Refocus Your Vision for the Coming Year
Every year during the last week of December my husband and I reflect on the previous year’s achievements – and failures, too – both in terms of our personal goals and our business objectives. Then we refocus on our strategies, plans and goals for the coming year.
Our “Planning Conference” (our grandiose term for what amounts to a series of conversations over coffee) provides at least two meaningful benefits to me:
closure, completion and gratefulness as I review the past year.
confidence, excitement and control as I enter the coming year.
This year, I felt especially overwhelmed as I contemplated challenges that I know lie ahead in the coming months. Not that things aren’t going great! In fact, that’s the challenge: demands on my time have mounted to the point that I feel more like the counseling center is running me more than I am running it!
However, after completing our planning meetings, I must say that I’ve regained a sense of control over my schedule and overwhelm. This week of praying, reviewing my vision and setting specific goals has energized me and renewed my awareness of divine guidance.
So, if you don’t already have a great process of reflecting and refocusing at the start of a new year, I thought you may enjoy using mine. Here are the seven questions I answered that helped me renew my vision for the coming year.
(I take no credit for constructing these questions. I’ve always used some versions of them. This year I was influenced by a few of Michael Hyatt’s videos on YouTube on the topic Your Best Year Ever.)
1. What did I accomplish last year?
I write down my answers and celebrate successes. It’s amazing how many great blessings you forget if you don’t take time to reflect and recall them!
2. Who I need to become next year?
As I scan the previous year, I also recognize the goals I didn’t achieve, the opportunities I missed, the things that didn’t get done, the priorities that somehow went neglected. These provide insights into areas where I need to grow and improve.
3. What is my overall vision for the coming year?
If God fulfills all my desires personally, professionally and in my ministry, what would that look like? I also find writing out my vision and mission for the year inspiring and clarifying.
4. What are my main goals for the coming year?
What objectives do I need to meet in order to bring the vision to reality? As so many goal-setting gurus recommend, I try to keep my goals challenging yet realistic.
5. What needs to happen if I am to reach those goals?
If, for example, I want to continue growing my counseling center, what will I have to do? What will my plans and strategies be?
6. What things do I need to let go of?
What tasks do I as a leader need to delegate, automate or eliminate? Where am I wasting my time on tasks that someone else could do if I trained them?
7. What are the tools and systems I need to stay focused on my goals for the year?
I pull out my calendar and write in changes and plans to make sure my plans really happen! I write out my goals in a place where I can easily review them.
That simple process really does work for me. I feel pumped up and ready for action!
So, let me ask you. How do you reflect and refocus at the beginning of each year? What questions do you pose to yourself? How do you help your team plan new calendars, visions and goals? I would love to hear your comments!
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