We made it my friends. Another trip around the sun. And what a year it has been. I don’t think any of us had any clue what was in store when we were popping champagne and toasting each other this time last year.
For some of you this was a phenomenal year. For others, it was a year of heartache and disappointments. For most of us it was a mix of both.
While we may be tempted to turn our backs to this year, close the door, and look for a fresh start by focusing on what’s to come in the new year, I don’t recommend that we jump straight into the future.
While I always recommend forward movement and looking to the future, I don’t believe it should be at the expense of reflecting on the tough lessons we learned and celebrating our past accomplishments.
Today, on New Years Eve, I invite you to take some time to reflect back on the 8 areas of life and think about what worked, what didn’t, what lessons you learned, and what are you grateful for.
If you have forgotten or perhaps aren’t familiar with the 8 life areas they are: Business, Personal & Spiritual Development, Finances & Wealth, Friends & Family, Recreation & Entertainment, Health & Fitness, Love, Physical Environment
Focus of this podcast is on the space where self development and business intersect, so I will limit the discussion to that but you can do this process and ask similar questions with the other 6 areas.
The process for an end of year review that I like to follow and recommend consists of 4 steps:
1 external challenges – what went wrong,
2 internal lessons – what were the lessons how did they change and shape me, how did I grow
3 external celebrations
4 internal gratitude
Let’s start with the first 2 steps
Steps 1 and 2: reflecting on external challenges and internal lessons
Looking back on the hardships struggles and challenges isn’t fun, it’s really tempting to shut the door and distance ourselves from those experiences. This helps us feel-good at this moment but ultimately works against us in the long term.
We are destined to repeat the lessons we haven’t learned. I’ve found this process of reflecting on what went wrong and what I learned, helps me to remember the lessons and make changes so they don’t show up again in the future.
Here’s how this looked for me this year. For most of 2020, my coaching business was stagnant. I knew that this year presented a unique opportunity for growth and expansion, yet I couldn’t seem to make it happen. Externally, my business was in limbo. Not declining, not growing. Frozen at the same place.
Looking back, I can see that I had an underlying belief that I must be missing some key information that would generate growth. Surely there’s a piece of the puzzle that I’m missing. Something external that I needed to take my business to the next level. I spent a tremendous amount of time and thousands of dollars trying to discover what “it” was that I was missing.
After searching and searching, my lesson which is so profound I wished I had learned it years ago, is that I am the missing piece. Like the Book The Alchemist by Paulo and Dorothy in the wizard of oz , it came back full circle and what I was looking for has been with me all along.
I was inviting clients to be vulnerable with me, but I was not being vulnerable with them, with all of you. This requires me to expose the parts of myself that I conveniently kept tucked away. The messy parts that I can’t fully explain but that make me wholly me.
Specifically, I had to publicly acknowledge that I have spiritual gifts that make my coaching practice and style truly unique. I have the ability to almost instantly understand the emotional and energetic blocks that cause entrepreneurs to secretly sabotage or delay their success.
In Spirituality and the woo-woo world, I am what is known as an empathic psychic. In Christianity, it’s called being a Christian Seer. I identify and call myself a highly-attuned Intuitive.
This is why my clients get phenomenal results from working with me. They come to me with their external challenges and I guide them to their internal lessons. They would get to these lessons anyway, we all will eventually, I simply expedite that process for them.
Once I owned and embraced this fact about myself then declared it to my audience, my business took off. I didn’t need a better Facebook challenge strategy or someone to help me better refine my niche. I needed to show up fully as myself and be unapologetic.
The external challenge was a stagnant business for most of the year. The internal lesson was that I had to be honest with myself on how I was holding myself back then find the courage to overcome it.
When I got that lesson – there was a major shift in my coaching business and that’s when it moved to the next level. I was in energetic limbo and it manifested in my business. When I became energetically free, prosperity poured into my business.
In contrast, the external challenges are opposite. In my other business, While my coaching practice needs more of me, the challenge in this one is that it is at the level that it needs less of me. To take that business to the next level, I needed to build a talented team then show up as a strong leader. It requires me to have a tremendous amount of trust in others and to trust my own abilities as a CEO. External challenge: Unable to keep up with demand without sacrificing time in my coaching practice or with my family. I easily could have become a workaholic. Internal lesson: Let go and let others. Trust in myself that I can find the right people and then trust them to do their job well.
Although I’m giving you a neat and tidy summary, the actual experience was messy and often confusing. I’ll be honest, It took a lot of working with mentors and self-coaching to get me through.
External challenges have an internal lesson. Reflecting back at the end of the year acknowledges this truth and helps make it easier to do this in those tough moments when you’re in the thick of it.
What about you? What challenges or hardships showed up for you in your business? How did you grow from this experience? What lessons did you learn? What do you need to leave behind or let go of? What will you do differently going forward?
I encourage you to take the time to really ponder the answer to these questions. To make it easy for you, I’ve included a link in the show notes where you can get a written copy of the questions.
Once we’ve spent some time reviewing the difficulties and lessons, it’s time to move forward to what went right in your business this year.
Steps 3 and 4: What did you accomplish and what are you grateful for in your business?
I do these two steps last because they help me to focus on everything that went right in the last year. I love to see how far my business has come in 12 just months. All wins, no matter how small, are worthy of celebration and so I honor them right along with the big accomplishments.
This reflection at the end of the year allows me to dream about what is possible in the upcoming year. It inspires me to set bigger and more audacious goals. And to be unapologetic in my ambitious pursuit of them.
This intentional time lights me up, fills me with hope, and helps me to step into the next best version of myself.
What about your wins this year? What did you achieve that made you burst with pride? What small wins did you accomplish along the way? How is your life and your business better? What strengths are you going to double down on next year? Where are your opportunities for personal growth?
I end this process by focusing my thoughts on all the ways I am blessed as an entrepreneur. As I mentioned in Episode 4 – Lessons on Gratitude from Brene Brown, grateful people are joyful people. For this reason, I embrace gratitude with a bear hug. Which is quite a big deal because as an empathic introvert, I’m not much of a hugger.
I’m always astounded at how much there is to appreciate. Some things are obvious, such as new clients who trusted me to guide them or the mentors and peers who showed up along the way, or surpassing my sales goals.
Other years it’s not as easy. Even then, there’s always something to be grateful for. In my worst years – the years where I invested a lot of money in my business and didn’t make a penny back or when personal struggles prevented me from reaching many of my business goals, I always find something that makes me feel grateful…even if that thing is nothing more than the opportunity to show up in the entrepreneurship arena and bravely take my chances at victory or face the possibility of defeat. Not everyone has that opportunity but I do and I am blessed by it.
Again, as we wrap up the year, take some time reflect on how far you’ve come. And when the clock strikes midnight on New Years Eve, don’t be afraid to lift a glass to yourself. You deserve it my friend. Cheers to you, cheers to me, cheers to all that’s meant to be.
Have a safe and Happy New Year.
Danielle's message is spot on with achieving goals. Not only does she practice what she preaches, but she's your guide to help YOU achieve the best version of yourself! A must listen!
Grow a biz & feel good! Danielle is really skilled at bringing both the actionable steps plus the mindset work so we can feel good as we grow our businesses while being present for our families. I look forward to listening every week!