Do you feel it too? That the end of this year feels like a bigger deal than previous years. There’s no doubt we’ve never experienced a year like it. And hope we don’t have another like it.
Every year I write a blog to encourage reflection on the past 12 months. So I’m once again sharing my top 10 questions. And also my very own answers. There’s something quite therapeutic about it. Perhaps you’ll find that you want to share yours in a blog too? Let me know how you get on.
So before we say goodbye to 2020, do take time to reflect and take stock of your learnings and insights from the past 12 months. There will be many. And there will be positives. You may not know them yet, but there will be aspects that you take into the New Year. I’m certain.
Reflecting is such a useful tool – it helps us to look back at what went well, what didn’t go so well and how we can use our experiences to make improvements in the future. I make sure I do it every year.
It’s also a great chance to look back at our successes and celebrate them. Over 12 months it’s very easy to forget about the wins we had back in January – however big or small. It feels great to capture it all in one place. Give it a go if you haven’t already
If you need help on some asking yourself some thought provoking questions, I’ve pulled together my top 10 helpful questions that you can use to prompt you.
And not only that, I’m sharing my very own answers.
So, without further a do, here are my top 10 helpful questions to help you reflect on the year and secondly I’m sharing my very open and honest answers!
- The most important goal that I achieved this year was….
- What am I most grateful for this year?
- The skills I developed this year are….
- This year I broke out of my comfort zone by…
- A big mistake that I made this year and the lesson that I learned as a result was…
- My biggest regret of the year was…..
- I adopted this new positive habit
- I dropped this negative habit
- What one activity / habit / belief / something else am I leaving in 2020?
- If I could travel back to the beginning of the year, the advice I would give myself would be…
Interested to know my own answers? A teeny bit curious? I’m very happy to share…
1.The most important goal that I achieved this year was….
An area I wanted to work on this year, was to stop spreading myself too thinly. Well by May this wasn’t happening! It took me a while, but I have finally achieved it.
My biggest achievement this year was to say no. No I can’t do everything. At the peak of the first lockdown I realised I couldn’t run 2 businesses, home-school my 5 & 7 year olds and take care of myself. Something had to give. And I had to say no to something. I was so very reluctant to put on hold a business I’d spent years building, but I couldn’t do everything. So I stopped my marketing consultancy. And you know, not only was tehre the huge relief that followed when I shared (you always know it’s the right thing to do) but the support was overwhelming. So many women reached out and appreciated me sharing the warts and all live I did, sharing that it’s ok to let something go. In a sea of ‘perfect motherhood & running businesses’ that I know I was being exposed to, it appeared I was a welcome and refreshing change to know that not everyone was coping so well. And for a time, we couldn’t do it all.
2. What am I most grateful for this year?
I’m most grateful that I had the amazing support and inspiration of the women in my Thrive Collective Members Club. A wonderful community to support, change, be inspired and to offer that timely bum kick when needed. I’ll never forget our first Zoom straight after lockdown was announced. Alongside the tears and anxiety came the overwhelming support and feeling that after our 2 hours together, we were not alone and we could adapt to this new uncertain world. We were in it together. I’ll be forever grateful to my fellow Thrivers.
3. The skills I developed this year are….
The skills I am continuing to develop this year is resilience. I’m a very planned and black and white kind of woman. I don’t deal well with grey areas or being spontaneous! But this year there hasn’t been an option. Every time I put something in the diary, it was quickly followed by having to remove and cancel it. Every time this happened, I became more resilient. I bounced back and moved on quicker. Something I’ll be taking into 2021 – to be more agile in my businesses.
4. This year I broke out of my comfort zone by…
Launching two brand new businesses in a global pandemic! That feels like a pretty hefty step! In July I posted on my socials if there was an appetite for a Thrive Collective 2021 marketing and business planner. The response was an astounding yes! I’ve never designed or produced a professional planner. So like anything new in business, I broke down the elements that needed to happen. And took it upon myself to find out the answers, ask for help. And make it happen. By late November, all planners had been posted and my entire stock I had ordered had sold out. Alongside the planners, I also created and launched new social media and blogging prompts and desk pads. You can check them out here.
My second business which launched in 2020 was with my husband. We’ve been wanting to do this for years. Working from home for both of us took its toll. So in September, once the boys were back at school, we started looking for spaces for our brand new co-working and community space in Bishop’s Stortford. By October we’d found it. It needed a complete overhaul and on the 14th of November, just as lockdown 2 was announced we’d opened our doors to Work From Here. We know the way we work and where we work will change change forever and we know we’re not the only ones who want the flexibility of where to work and we miss those conversations and sense of community. We’ve identified an opportunity and stepped out of our comfort zone. Together.
5. A big mistake that I made this year and the lesson that I learned as a result was…
My biggest mistake this year was allowing the actions and behaviours of people who are not aligned to my business values impact me. We all run our businesses in our own unique ways and when we meet likeminded business owners the affect is so very powerful. However, conversely there will always be those negative nellies who process information and knowledge differently to us (it would be a boring world if we were all the same). We have to use our gut instinct – the one time I chose to ignore mine, it once again proved that it was going to be right. Always trust your gut…it will never let you down. There’s little you can do about those kind of people with their own ulterior motives. Choose wisely where you invest your time and energy.
6. My biggest regret of the year was…..
I’m making up for it by making changes in my businesses in 2021 but in 2020 I spent too much time and energy trying to please everyone. The impact of this was that sometimes I wasn’t pleasing myself. There I said it. It’s important that I share this. Incase it resonates with anyone reading and reflecting. The whole purpose of reflecting is to take stock of what’s working and what needs to change. The definition of madness is doing the same thing over again and expecting a different outcome. Time to make sure that if you want a different outcome in 2021 that you do something differently than 2020.
7. I adopted this new positive habit
To worry less. Worry what people thought, people said and what people do.
8. I dropped this negative habit
I stopped comparing myself. Yes I keep an eye out what other people are up to. But I no longer compare. In all aspects of 2020 my motto has been “You do you, and I’ll do me”. So much judgement this year.
9. What one activity / habit / belief / something else am I leaving in 2020?
I am leaving behind the belief that I have to be everything to everyone. A people pleaser at heart, it’s not possible to please everyone all of the time. And that’s ok.
10. If I could travel back to the beginning of the year, the advice I would give myself would be…
Oh my goodness, can you imagine…being able to travel back to January 2020. Before Covid 19 was a word in our every day vocabulary. I’d actually give myself the advice that I’ve actioned. When you see an opportunity, go for it! Trust your gut even more than you do! I’ve done it twice this year with two new businesses…and they’ve both paid off. So far!
And there you go! Some questions to ask yourself. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how this has helped you.
I’m Sam Dixon, founder of Thrive With Sam Dixon, a Marketing Consultant to ambitious businesswomen who want to launch, grow and scale their business with flexible marketing support.
For a free 30 minute discovery call get in touch by email email@example.com or come join Thrive Collective, JOIN HERE.