How to kick off your year with a bang!

January 14, 2022

team motivation

Are you keen for yourself and your team to start the year off strong? - Then read on and learn how to kick off your year with a bang!

Step one: Reflect on the wins and lessons of the preceding year Every person has their own work in progress. So you will want to recall your winning moments and breakthroughs. This is to creative positive reflection and most importantly, a positive mindset to head into the new year. You can ask yourself questions like: What made you decide this way and not that way on a certain project? What advice worked well for you? Why do you think the person gave such advice? What actions / decisions worked well for you last year?

The same thought process applies to helping your team to audit their past year. Teams can mention key wins, top innovations, and accomplishments. Outcomes may surface relative to accountability, team commitment, responsibility. You may discover the need to develop better systems, processes, or improve delegation of tasks.

Now, zeroing in on valuable lessons means identifying SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely). In other words, generalised goals such as “become an improved accountable team” or “cut costs in certain areas” could become a thing of the past.

Step two: Get the facts on what worked for you in the past year From a personal point of view, it helps to check the friendships and relations you nurtured for the better this past year. What ways of reaching out made a more thoughtful impact? On the other hand, do you think other relations could have been better nurtured? What else could be done to stop the sense of drifting from others?

Applied in the corporate sense, it is quite similar. The discussion will tackle issues like: What were the sales and profit targets made? And in what way were they followed? Another essential question would be: Who were the responsible persons for such a target? And what lessons could they share with the team?

Step Three: Look into a Gap Analysis Now, this is another part that will require some major thinking and consulting. How do you see yourself in 3 years? What will it take to bring you there? Then think about in 5, and in 10 years times? Repeat reflecting on what SMART goals you can do to bridge the gap.

Obviously, you will not evolve with your goals in a vacuum. So try to incorporate people you care about into your gap-bridging strategy. What sort of goals do they have for themselves, and what do they picture for you? It will be important to get them involved, especially in the case of the people who are there for you when you need them the most.

Try to include some qualitative factors too - the work you have done to build a reputation. What worked? What didn't? Look at the advice you have received over the years and from who? The impact of people you hang out with, and more.

In the case of gap-bridging in the corporate setting, everyone is encouraged to study the current and future roles they wish to play in the company. One good way to elicit information is through team-building activities. Any huddle on this might need to be modified so as to allow your colleagues to share (anonymously if they want) their future plans in the company. For example, feedback could be gathered anonymously via an online form and which will be assessed by say Human Resources.

In any case, the task is to get everyone involved in identifying gaps between the current and the intended goals. Then lead into following the setting of a SMART action plan on how to bridge the gap.

Step four: Identify challenges that cause limited growth This part will work closely with the preceding step. You have taken steps to identify what could bring you closer to your personal goals. So now, you can identify what could prevent your gap analysis from taking off: Is it a question of resources? Your working relationship with someone? Your attitude towards work? Most of the time, the preceding step and this one will result in some hard answers and realities that need addressing or facing up to.

The corporate counterpart of this step is the Sweet Spot Analysis. This tool is well known in the business world, as it is meant to determine the best action points that will move the business every quarter, with so many urgent things vying for precious time. Team building activities can also help a lot in brainstorming over this question.

Last step: Draft a 1-pager action plan (applicable for the next 90 days only) One way to show your commitment to a willingness to improve, is to write down your action plan. And this is so much better if you can fit it into just 1 page!

Whether it is for personal or for corporate use, the 1 pager can immediately answer critical points such as: What are your most important top 2-3 focus areas in your business or life? What are the indicators to show success? What are the action points that will need to be achieved to close in on the gap? And lastly (depending on what you agree on), who has ownership over what?

You and your team can modify the above steps as needed, but the essential steps are covered. In addition with this, your team gets to start the new year on the right foot!

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