Looking back before looking forward.

Well, here we are –2023. I’m not really a fan of typical New Year’s Resolutions. (I think if we want to reach our big goals, it’s something we should be working on all year, but that’s a topic for another day!) But, I do like the idea of taking a minute at this time of year, to stop and reflect on how things went in the last year and how we want them to go in the coming year.
Taking a minute to assess our goals makes it a lot easier to get to the place where we want to be.

I know that as a brick & mortar business owner, after the holidays, there’s this kind of sigh of relief. A moment when you realize you can breathe again, after just going, and going, and going for what feels like a very long time. There’s always more to do, but the slow down in January gives you just a minute to breathe. I know that when I worked in a retail home office, January was the time for clearance in our stores, and for cleaning out our offices and desks after the big holiday rush. With the hectic season still fresh in your mind, It’s the perfect time to think about how the past year went, and how you want this year to go.

I took an extra week off after the New Year to sit down and think about this. Here are my reflections on the past year, and plans for the year ahead.

In 2022:
-I finally got the chance to meet some people in my new town, which was great.
-I stepped up my workouts, and saw a great improvement in both my physical and mental health.
-I didn’t meet all of my sales goals.
-I was able to test out some of my new skills in my business and combined them with the skills I had developed during my time in my corporate job, and it turns out, your girl’s still got it, and then some!
-It was a tough year health-wise for some members of my family, which led to some very worrisome, and some very sad times.
-I realized that although I’ve made changes in my life, I still have a long way to go towards becoming more mindful and present in my day-to-day life.

In 2023:
-I hope to serve more brick & mortar businesses in my area (Northeastern Pennsylvania), so I’ll be meeting with more people in the area to find out what they need, and how I can serve them best.
-I’ll continue to incorporate fitness into my life even more.
-I’ll read more books than I did last year. (5 should be easy to beat!)
-I want to build more e-commerce websites, start a website hosting program, and do more brand strategy for my clients.
-I want to make time to see more friends and family.
-I’ll enjoy more adventure and fun with my family.
-I’m going to plant a garden.

Of course, I’m open and flexible to let these plans change or evolve over the next year, but it’s great to have a starting point. It was a good exercise, and the Virgo in me always feels better having a bit of a roadmap for what’s to come. If you always feel like you’re reacting to the latest business “emergency”, I HIGHLY recommend that you take advantage of the slower time right now and reflect on the past year.

Consider this –and write it down:

What went well?

What didn’t go well and how can you avoid or change this in the future?

What do you want for your business this year? What do you need in order to make that happen?

What are your customers asking for? Does what YOU want align with what THEY want?

This all forms the foundation for your strategy for the coming year, so that you can be proactive instead of reactive as the year goes on. It won’t allow you to control all of the unknown and unpredictable things ahead, but it gives you more control and allows you to approach your business in a smart way.

Taking advantage of the quiet time now can set you up for success for the entire year to come.

As always, if I can help you sort this out, please reach out to me here: hello@threebirdscreative.com