I like everything about a new year. I get a chance to start over, an excuse to dream, a reason to get rid of the old to make room for the new. I love a fresh start (I wrote about it here and here). Who doesn’t? So for the past two weeks or so I’ve been focusing on how to get the most out of my new year. I think it comes down to two things: reflect and renew.
Without reflection, true renewal is impossible. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with two of my best leaders and reflect on 2015. A year ago, they were in very different places. One was getting ready to branch off on her own as the leader of a new campus, and the other was just coming into a higher leadership position. A year ago they were full of fear and insecurity and questions – and hope, and dreams. Today they both have thriving teams under their leadership, and have grown more than they knew was possible.
As you reflect on your past year, first make note of all the things you get to celebrate. There were undoubtedly some incredible things that took place in your life this year! Sometimes at the end of a long, difficult year, it may be a struggle to see the positive outcomes. But as a leader, you must choose to find the wins for your team. You must choose to see how the hard times helped you grow. You must choose to celebrate the difficult things that made life harder, but produced unity, or loyalty, or determination. Once you’ve reflected on the things that brought value to your year, celebrate them!
As you continue to reflect, it’s equally beneficial to make note of things that you do not want to repeat this year. I made some mistakes in the way I treated people this year, and I don’t want to make the same mistakes again. I wasted some time pursuing people or plans that weren’t worth it. I stayed complacent in some areas that I wish I had grown in. By reflecting on these things, I can choose a path this year that does not take me to those same disappointments.
Once you have celebrated and learned from what you did last year, you are ready to start the renewal process that a new year brings. This is your time to dream, to refine your vision, and to set goals for the coming year. Dream about where you want yourself and your team to be a year from now. Begin setting goals (Michael Hyatt is the best at showing you how!), and break those goals into steps. Steps that you can start taking today, as you start your new year.
Today you can start to renew your passion, your dreams, and your future. You’ve been given an incredible gift – the gift of a new year – it’s time to make the most of it!