Are you working tirelessly to make something happen at the end of 2020?
It is tempting to try and salvage the year as best you can, or, if your business is doing well, capitalize on the current state. This choice equates to a great deal of hustling, late nights, and long hours. Perhaps there is an alternative option you can take.
Instead of trying to do a massive amount of work as the year ends, I dare you to be with what is. To be still, to reflect and review this past year so you know where you are as you head into the new year.
At first, this may seem unwise, but I have found that by taking two steps back you can often take fifty steps forward. With a little bit of pause, you may realize that doing things constantly doesn't necessarily equate to taking the right steps or the biggest steps.
Slow down to actually look at everything in front of you. By slowing down, more than likely, you will create an opportunity to see more strategically, to catch avenues you would otherwise overlook, and learn from any mistakes.
While you pause during the last month of 2020, here are three questions to reflect upon.
1. What are you energized by?
You may not feel very inspired right now and understandably so. Instead of figuring out what inspires you, identify what brings you the most energy. A powerful life is one that is filled with high energy. While you take a pause to examine your life and redesign it more optimally, this is the best way to quickly identify what needs to go and what can stay.
If you are like me, you want an energized life, where every action and person you experience lights you up. Spend time getting very granular about what business actions, partnerships, and tasks bring you energy, or drain you completely. Do the same with the people in your life, the hobbies you maintain, and any other constants present.
You will always have the energy for things that inspire you - the things you value most - and you will run out of energy for things that don't. If a certain business task leaves you depleted or having a conversation with someone drains you daily...these are things you should probably step away from, whenever possible.
2. Am I following my values?
If you want to move fast, in business and elsewhere, get in alignment with what matters most to you. How do you do this? By determining what you value. It will become painstakingly obvious if a business venture, a new relationship, or opportunity is not working when you are living in alignment with your values.
The John DeMartini Values assessment helped me get very clear on what drives me at my core. As long as you design a life and business that makes your values exist, you will be fulfilled. Knowing your values helps you develop strong opinions, hold confidence in what you believe, and helps you make decisions easily.
3. What choices have I made this year?
We have made plenty of choices this year. Some consciously, some unconsciously and some were made under pressure with limited options available. As you slow down, bring the choices you've made over the past year into objective awareness. When you take the time to review your choices, identify the primary driver of the decision. Did you select something for monetary gains, for more free time, to give back to your community, or to invest in yourself?
Review these choices and motivating factors in relation to how you are spending your time and making decisions in alignment with your values. From here, figure out ways to spend more time in accordance with your guiding principles. If you made a business pivot during the onset of the pandemic, was the choice and the primary motivator connected to one of your core values? Did your marketing message during this past year accurately connect with your long term mission?
These are the sort of questions you should be asking as the year comes to a close. Forget trying to squeeze a final penny into your bank account before the New Year's Ball drops at midnight. Instead, take time to redesign your life and business more accurately.
I have historically taken the month of December off to reflect on the year, and 2020 is no exception. Join me in giving yourself the opportunity to take major steps forward in the year ahead.