A Guide to Your Year-End Review and Goal-Setting

A Guide to Your Year-End Review and Goal-Setting - Up Up Creative

Each year, on my first day back in the studio after my holiday break, I take the better part of a day to review the previous year and set some goals and intentions for the coming one. 

While part of what I look at entails what might best be called “optimization” (how to wring more income out of each hour worked), a big part of my process includes tapping into my intuition.

If you’re not already doing this kind of review for your own business (and life), here’s my advice for getting started:

  • Set aside at least half a day
  • Gather as much data as you can about the previous year — for me this includes income breakdowns, time tracking data, email and social media numbers, etc.
  • If you have them, also get out last year’s review and list of goals
  • Get comfortable — I recommend a blanket, some music if you like it, snacks and beverages of choice, and no distractions
    Once you’re comfy and ready, I recommend you do three things:
    • Look at the DATA
    • Think about how you FEEL
    • Document it all
    For example, I rank my income streams in order, review any debts and savings goals (both business and personal), set income goals, and look at how I spent my time throughout the previous year. (Yes, I log my hours all year! It started as a habit when I did client work, but I’ve kept up the habit because I find that data to be so, so, so useful to me as I make business decisions.)

    Once I’ve got allllll that data, I’m usually kind of overflowing with feelings, too. Often, I’ll have a thought like “ugh, I hate it that X is my top income stream because it bring so much drama and anxiety. I wish I could replace that…”

    I write those thoughts down.

    I also ask myself things like:
    • What did I enjoy most in the last year? 
    • What did I dread? 
    • What do I want to stop doing?
    • What do I want to do more of? 
    • How do I want to spend my time in the studio?
    • What crazy ideas do I keep fantasizing about?
    • Are there any new income streams I want to develop?
    • Any I want to let go this year?
    • What goals from last year did I not even work on?
    • Is there anything I can delegate to someone else?
    • What do I want my daily life to look like?

    From there, I’m ready to set actual goals. I set financial goals. I set goals like “replace X income stream” or “find three new marketplaces.” I also set goals like “spend fewer than 10% of my time on email.”

    I like to write out all of my review and all of my goals by hand and then staple the pages together and then put them somewhere prominent and accessible where I can look at them often throughout the year.

    Then I actually look at them often throughout the year.