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  • Writer's pictureAgnes Chikukwa Hove

Finish your year strong

Gosh, December is around the corner are we are rapidly approaching the end of our year. With the Christmas holidays drawing near, we tend to want to slow down and go into holiday mode. Why don’t you try to do things differently this year?

This year, take a different approach to the end of the year. Take time to reflect on the year gone by. Take some time to think about lessons learned and prepare for the year ahead.

So, instead of slowing down, finish your year strong!

Here are a few practical tips to make the most of what’s left of the year and end on a high note.

1. Review your year.

If you were to summarise your year in one word, what would that word be? Was it a challenging year? Was it a year of growth? Was it a painful year?

We normally go from year to year and forget to take some time to reflect on and record the lessons from the year.

Write down your biggest success of the year. Celebrate your successes, then shortlist the actions you’re going to take to repeat that success next year.

Do the same for your biggest failures, and write down what you’ve learned. Have a list of things you will not do based on the years’ experience. Shortlist the preventive actions you’ll take to guard against a repeat. Don’t miss out on the wisdom to be gained from experience.

2. Review your relationships.

As we all know, having strong personal and professional relationships is important for business success. Some connections come naturally and easily; others don’t and take more work. Year end is the right time for some relationship housekeeping. Here’s an exercise to try:

• List the stakeholders whose contributions most directly impact your business performance.

• Then, identify the relationships that are not delivering their full potential.

• Ask how you could better support your immediate colleagues, and how your relationships can grow. Positive teamwork is always a two-way street.

3. What are the growth possibilities for your business?

Did you identify any possibilities for the growth of your business, or for personal growth? Are there any new technologies in your business area? Are there any opportunities for value addition, to upsell products, or to diversify your business?

What feedback did you receive from clients over the year? What is happening in your industry worldwide? Benchmark your business with similar businesses, learn from those who are succeeding?

4. Write it all down.

Record those lessons learned, good ideas, objectives etc. Don’t just try and “remember to remember.” Otherwise, chances are you’ll forget something along the way. Especially if you have a really, really good holiday. And losing those hard-won lessons is like letting gold spill out of your pockets.

5. Plan for next year.

These are not New Years’ Resolutions! Set your goals and objectives for the year ahead. Set personal, financial, relational, family and business goals and objectives for yourself. Make sure you consider your own values and set a short list of your personal improvement targets in each area. You are either getting better or getting worse… make the effort to constantly grow.

We can all get better at something.

Think S.M.A.R.T.

S- Specific

M- Measurable

A- Achievable

R- Relevant

T- Time-bound

You need to plan the How

…. not just the What.

Don’t turn up unprepared and let the New Year just happen to you. Decide what you want out of it and plan how you’re going to get it.

Then, go get it!

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