The new year is a time of reflection. It can reinvigorate you, your team and your communications strategy. Taking the time to look back at your accomplishments and your failures will prepare you to let go of the previous year and embrace a refreshed vision for the year ahead.
The new year is also a time to set goals and clarify what success means to you, personally and professionally. Use this personal reflection as an exercise in understanding how you fit into the communications efforts of your organization.
To get the most out of this activity, create space for yourself:
- Take this printout to a place you won’t be disturbed: a coffee shop or a conference room.
- Turn off notifications from your phone and computer.
- Focus on this activity; don’t multitask.
- Enjoy the process, but don’t take it too seriously that it becomes paralyzing.
- What changed this past year?
- What were you grateful for this year?
- What did you discover about your team or colleagues?
- What surprised you?
- What made you smile?
- What conclusions did you reach?
- What were your top accomplishments?
- What skills helped you to reach those accomplishments?
- How did you celebrate those accomplishments? If you didn’t, how could you next time?
- What did you learn about yourself?
- What were your top challenges this past year?
- How did you deal with those challenges?
- Describe your favorite moment(s) at work this year. Did you create a killer ad campaign or help your CEO land an interview for a new initiative?
Embrace a refreshed vision for the year ahead
- What does a perfect day in the new year look like? Where are you? What you are you doing? How do you feel? What are you looking forward to?
- Why do you do what you do? What motivates you to do your job well?
- What do you need more of next year?
- What do you need less of next year?
- What is definitely happening next year?
- What do you hope will happen?
- What does your team (comms team, leadership, other departments) need?
- What do you want to learn more about next year?
- What opportunities and resources (training, flexible hours) might your team need to succeed?
- What are three skills you want to develop in the new year? How will you develop those skills?
- How will you motivate your team to succeed?
- What milestones do you want to reach next year?
- How will you celebrate professional milestones?
- Next year, I will say yes to _________.
- Next year, I will say no to __________.
Look for recurring themes in your responses and let those guide your goal setting for next year. You may be surprised to find some insights jumping off the page! Think of this reflection as a living document. Look back at your goals throughout the year and adjust your course to get everything you hoped for out of the next 12 months.