In just a couple of weeks, 2017 will be in the rearview mirror.
And there will be lots of pressure to look ahead and set goals for next year.
But before you jump ahead, there’s something that you should do first.
This is something that we do every year with our iCadenza team, and it helps set us up for even more success going forward.
So what should you do before 2018?
Keep reading to find out.
Do a Personal Year-End Review
As a freelance musician, doing a self-evaluation or personal review can help you set goals for the new year.
It creates a space for you to review where things went well — so you can think about how to repeat your success going forward — and where things didn’t go so well and what you can learn from those experiences.
If you work in a corporate environment that performs annual reviews, doing a self-evaluation gives you the chance to prepare for your review and be ready for feedback from your manager.
Here are a few things to ask yourself.
You can do this by yourself or with a friend, family member, or close colleague that you trust.
Work through the following questions:
- What am I most proud of accomplishing this year?
- What were my big wins?
- What are the biggest lessons I learned the last year?
- What challenged me most in the last year?
- What are my main areas of improvement?
- What did I learn about myself in the last year?
- What is my big dream for my life 5 years from now?
- If the next 6 months are wildly successful, what will happen?
If your review partner is up for it, switch!
These questions are simple but open ended and will provide fruitful ground for exploration.
Celebrate Your Wins
Look back over your answers and take time to celebrate your successes. Where did you surpass your own expectations (or those of others)?
Add these wins to your resume, LinkedIn account, or bio if applicable. Remember to share your wins with your audience, supporters, and partners.
Also take a moment to consider what it was about that particular project or circumstance that allowed you to be successful. For instance, maybe you had extra free time, or it was something you are deeply passionate about.
Create a list of the things or people that supported your success. Can you repeat those conditions the next time you’re reaching for a goal?
Acknowledge Your Opportunities for Growth
Of course there will be places where you fell short. Sometimes these things can be out of your control — and other times, your mindset or personal limitations might have held you back.
Take time to acknowledge where you can improve next time, then make plans to implement change. This is especially important if you work for an organization.Think about not only where you want to improve but what steps you’ll take to get there. Click To Tweet
If it feels daunting to make changes on your own, look for training opportunities, hire a coach or mentor, and continue to give yourself the space and time to grow your skills.
Don’t Forget Your Personal Life
Consider using these questions to address your “performance” both in your personal, as well! You might be delightfully surprised by the progress you have made over the past year regarding your personal growth. Give yourself a chance to celebrate.
Over to You!
We’d love to hear your insights and takeaways. Tell us…
What has your experience been with evaluating yourself?
Do you plan on doing a self-evaluation by the end of the year?
Let us know in the comments below!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2016 and has been updated for accuracy.