I’m writing this in the last quarter of 2020, and most of my coaching clients are naturally switching into reflection mode: how has the past year been? What did I finish, and what’s still rolling? What do I want more or less of next year? These kinds of questions come up every year – although this year the answers have been very different.

Top-down reflection sessions are EPIC because the altitude is so high: they offer insight at the “meaning of life” level, rather than day-to-day tactics. 🗻

If I’m reflecting for my own work, I’ll also layer in a more analytical, bottom-up approach. I’ve iterated a process for my business over the past few years where I gather a list of my work, tag it up in a spreadsheet in a specific way, then use various sorts and filters to give me a higher level perspective. 😎

(Keep scrolling if you’re curious about the method for this.)

It is the combination of these 2 activities – the top-down reflection questions plus the bottom-up spreadsheetery that make it easier to build clear plans for the following year. I call this bringing together the form and the zen.  ☯️

Are you overloading 2021 already?

2020 has been a shocker of a year, no doubt. This makes the end-of-year client reflections feel very loaded. Clients have said to me “In 2021, I want extreme clarity about what’s needed” and “I want to be much more intentional. This weird year has given us a huge shift in perspective to match the huge shift in our daily lives. And the natural response is to say that 🚀 2021 HAS TO BE SPECTACULAR 🚀 because we’re a year behind, right?

Well, I don’t think that’s a realistic or healthy way to look at it, and my guess is neither do you.

What’s useful is the energy behind this sentiment – the motivation to make 2021 productive and creative. The zen makes total sense. You want to do meaningful work, more so than ever. ✔️

What’s not useful is the unrealistic pressure that sets you up for burnout and disappointment. This is where our form analytics will be really helpful. If we can get much clearer on the relative value of what we’re doing, then we can more easily make decisions about what to start, what to stop, and what to continue. ✔️✔️

To help you work through this, the next 3 articles are going to be a mini-series, zooming in on how to use our 2020 hindsight data (the form) with our inner satnav (the zen) to shape our plans for next year.

  • In this article I’m sharing an outline of my Scoreboard process, to help you analyse the value to you of your 2020 (past) and 2021 (future) projects.
  • Next week, I’ll share the reflection questions I use at the end of each year
  • And the last piece of the puzzle is understanding our regeneration cycle, so we can understand why taking a break at these gateway moments is essential. 😌

I hope you’ll find them helpful. Let me know if there are specific questions you have…. and tell me how you get on!

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🎈 Fast Flow: 2020 Value Scoreboard 🎈

You can analyse your past year to get insight into the right direction for the future by creating a scoreboard. Here’s the simplest way to do that:

  • Grab a sheet of paper and turn it landscape, or open up a spreadsheet
  • Down the left hand side, list out up to 10 projects you have in progress (e.g. rolling out a new product, redesigning your website, getting new corporate clients in the pipeline)
  • Then add up to 10 projects you worked on or completed in 2020 (e.g. updated supplier onboarding process, tested new software, spoke at event)
  • Pick 2-3 ways you could score the value to you of any work e.g. REVENUE GENERATED, LEVEL OF PERSONAL INTEREST, FUN FACTOR. Pick values that you, um, value (e.g. don’t score on PUBLICITY if that’s not motivating for you). Make these column headings on your spreadsheet, or write them across the top of your page
  • Take the projects list line by line and give each piece of work a score on each of those values
  • Optional: Add in 5-10 ideas you have for next year’s projects or workstreams, and score them too
  • Analysis time! See where you have the highest scores for each value. What kind of work makes the most money? What about INTEREST? FUN? Or your chosen values? What kind of work scores the highest overall? What scores the lowest overall? What do you notice?
  • Then ask yourself: What do I choose to do next year?* 

(*Bonus points to regular readers who notice that this is a What, So What, Now What process)

That’s it! 📊

You can use this for non-work stuff as well. It works with any area of your life where you want to get really clear on what to prioritise.

Remember, this is one part of a multi-step process. Next week, I’ll walk you through some reflection questions that you can use in conjunction with this analysis, to give you a more rounded picture of your focus for 2021.  ⭐