This morning I sat down with a piece of paper and pen. On the top of the page I wrote "My 2014 Assessment". Under this heading I made two columns. The heading for the left column was "What Worked" and for the right column, "What Didn't Work".
I got this idea from Keith Kochner of Mentorfish.com in his video about Clearing and Cutting. It isn't exactly what Keith talked about, but is along the same lines.
In any case, I thought I would share with you the list I came up with:
5 THINGS THAT WORKED FOR ME:
1) Having an accountability group. My group is made up of 4 women, meeting twice a month. We cook together, run ideas past each other, and challenge each other. We call ourselves the BBC, or Boot in the Butt Club. This group has helped me stay on track in a few specific areas. It helps to occasionally threaten each other with the dreaded foot planted strategically to the back side!
2) Having a mentor. Several months ago, I asked a friend of mine to be my business mentor. I chose her because I could see she was serious about moving forward in her business and also because I could learn a lot from her. We meet every month for 1 hour and she helps me specifically with my business goals. Each time we meet, she also loans me a book to read, usually having something to do with goal setting, succeeding in business or getting rid of "mind trash" as she calls it.
3) Planning my days the night before. I had always thought this would be a good idea but never seriously used it. In the last two months of 2014, I was pretty faithful to do that and was amazed at the resulting increase in productivity!
4) Setting monthly goals. In an earlier post I shared a simple goal board that I had made which was an easy way of keeping my goals in front of me as a constant reminder. My cute little goal board has kept me motivated!
5) Signing up for Mentorfish.com. You want to make changes in your personal life, business, career or marriage? Keith Kochner has made it his goal to make highly valuable advice and encouragement available at a very affordable price. For less than $10 a month you can get daily Mentorship Moments (as he calls them) that are packed and powerful. He did not ask me to write this and I get no benefit from it. I just know a good thing when I see one.
[Before you set your goals for next year, it's important to take an honest look at what worked and didn't work the previous year.]
5 THINGS THAT DIDN'T WORK FOR ME:
1) Staying up and working too late. Seriously, it doesn't work in the long run to burn the midnight oil. I merely found myself sleeping through my most productive morning hours and staying up later and later. Good recipe for burnout!
2) Not paying enough attention to my home environment. Since I work at home, it doesn't really serve me well to work, work, work at everything business-related and almost completely ignore housework. All it does is stress me out to be surrounded by chaos.
3) Spending too much time on social media. This has been a tough one for me, since I do have to use social media to promote my business. However, when I find myself getting lost in who's posting what on Facebook, liking this, that and the other, I know I need to just step away from the computer and find something more productive to do.
4) Avoiding Twitter, because I don't quite get it. Okay, I know this sounds like the opposite of what I just said. However, the idea is not to ditch social media altogether, but to use it purposefully when promoting your business. Because I've never gotten the hang of Twitter, I have pretty much not used it. Yet I keep hearing that, as a tool for promoting my business, it is one I shouldn't ignore.
5) Not doing enough fun stuff! Um, didn't I address this in an earlier post about productivity? If I remember correctly, I said "I can't stress this enough." Somehow I failed at following my own advice. So let me say it again (to myself and anyone who will listen): You gotta take time to PLAY. I really think the most successful people know not only how to work hard but also how to PLAY HARD. Doing one without the other is, well, out of balance.
So there you have at least a partial list of what I came up with (I only chose 5 from each list). How about you? What worked and what didn't work in YOUR 2014? Taking an honest assessment will help you set your goals for 2015 and go a long way toward making it the best year yet! Till next year....