As we don our holiday sweaters and get ready for company gatherings and family vacations, it’s tempting to embrace the festivities without taking a good look back at the year that was.
Before you get onto thinking about 2024, New Year’s Resolutions, and your business plans, we recommend stopping and taking a pause to reflect on 2023. There’s usually a down moment or two between holiday parties, and it’s the opportune moment for businesses to not just assess their financial metrics but to delve deeper into the soul of their operations.
This year, Full Sail Media proposes a transformative approach—the Gratitude Year in Review. While you’ve likely heard about gratitude journals and daily gratitude practices, we think the approach can also extend to a better way to think about and care for your small business needs.
With today’s blog, we’ll guide you through a thoughtful reflection on the past year, celebrating victories, overcoming challenges, and appreciating the invaluable contribution of people to your business success.
Before Getting Started With The Gratitude Year in Review
Before diving into your review, it’s worth acknowledging that no business journey is flawless. We’ve all missed sales targets, we’ve had hires that didn’t work out, and plans that didn’t come to fruition. Your Gratitude Year in Review isn’t about judging those moments.
Instead, it’s about accepting that the hurdles and hardships often pave the way for growth. With that mindset, let’s see how a few short questions can help you to embrace imperfections, cultivate resilience, boost team morale, and foster innovation.
Set Yourself Up For Gratitude
While a good old-fashioned dose of gratitude doesn’t require any specific tools or tech, we do recommend taking a few minutes to create a conducive environment for reflection. Even following the three steps below should be enough.
- Create a Quiet Space – Find a peaceful environment for reflection.
- Allocate Time – Set aside dedicated time for this exercise.
- Eliminate Distractions – Turn off notifications and distractions.
Though tech isn’t required, we do find that having a calendar nearby is a useful way to jog our memories.
Gratitude Year In Review Part 1: The Accomplishments
Now that you’ve created your space, let’s start off by exploring the positive side of your business journey—the accomplishments that brought you closer to your goals.
From hitting numerical milestones to achieving growth, work on making a list of your business’s highlights for 2023. Then, look at the questions below to consider more deeply what those highlights have meant to you and your team.
- What milestones did we reach this year?
- Which accomplishments brought us the most joy?
- Which accomplishments brought us the most satisfaction?
- How did these achievements contribute to our overall goals?
- How did these achievements connect to our mission as a company?
Gratitude Year In Review Part 2: The Challenges
Every business faces challenges, and acknowledging them is an important step towards growth.
This section is about assessing the hurdles your business faced and the lessons you learned.
Start first by drafting a list of the moments you don’t remember quite so fondly. These could be obstacles, losses, or difficult personnel situations.
From there, consider the following questions to help cultivate a resilient and grateful mindset.
Questions to consider:
- What lessons did we learn from our challenges?
- How will those lessons allow our team and company to grow?
- How did overcoming obstacles strengthen our team?
- In what ways did we handle those challenges with grace?
- In what ways did setbacks lead to unexpected opportunities?
Gratitude Year In Review Part 3: The People
Business is inherently a collective effort, and the people involved play a pivotal role in its success. That can include team members, clients, and service providers.
By identifying and appreciating the individuals who contributed significantly to your journey, you’ll not only foster a positive workplace culture but also strengthen your business relationships.
Identify individuals and ask:
- Which team members made significant contributions to our success?
- Which clients or customers positively impacted our business?
- How did collaboration with service providers enhance our operations?
- What opportunities did your business experience thanks to the clients and customers you serve?
Gratitude Year In Review Part 4: Going Forward
As we conclude our Gratitude Year in Review, it’s time to look ahead. This section isn’t about listing out resolutions for the new year but rather a mindful consideration of the past year.
By tying together insights from the previous sections, you’ll create a roadmap infused with gratitude.
- Of our accomplishments, which have been the most meaningful?
- What can we do to lead our business toward more of these types of accomplishments?
- Which challenges have led us to the most learning or growth this year?
- How can we make sure to incorporate those lessons into our business going forward?
- Of the people we work with in our business and around our business, which relationships have meant the most to us?
- How can we support those people, or develop more types of those relationships?
We’re Grateful For You!
We hope this short guide has given you a different perspective on how to wrap up your business’s year. Add any new sections? Incorporating your employees in doing a joint Gratitude Year In Review? We want to hear about it – send us a message here and let us know how you’re using this guide.