As we wrap up 2011 and begin to think about 2012, I wanted to share a Top Ten list that a good friend of mine, Michael Angier, has created. Some good thoughts here that can help you get your plan for 2012 down on paper. Thanks for all your support and all your referrals during the year. May this holiday season be very special for you and your family.

Reflections—A Top 10 List of End-of-the-Year Questions


It's a new year. But what have we learned from the last one? Michael Angier has some questions we can ask to help make this year even better than last.

In order to embrace the new, we must release the old. A trapeze artist cannot swing from one bar to another without letting go. An important part of preparing for the New Year is to review the past year—to release it—and to learn from it.

To go where we wish to go and be whom we wish to be, we need to know where we are and who we are. An honest self-analysis is always helpful to gain clarity. As we end the year, it seems particularly fitting to devote some time to reflecting on the year past and where we find ourselves as the New Year dawns.

The following questions should stimulate your thinking for this process. I hope you take time out of your busy schedule this holiday season to ponder where you are and where you've been. Enter into discussions with people you care about. Write out your thoughts and feelings. Do some journaling. Consider writing a letter—an end-of-the-year epistle—to yourself. It could be profound to write it and valuable to read it in the years ahead.

Reflect upon what you did, how you felt, what you liked, what you didn’t and what you learned. Try to look at yourself and your experience with as much objectivity as you can—much like a biographer would do.

Here are some suggestions to get you started in mulling over the past year—perhaps the last decade. Feel free to add your own.

1. What did I learn? (skills, knowledge, insights, etc.)
2. What did I accomplish? A list of my wins and achievements.
3. What would I have done differently? Why?
4. What did I complete or release? What still feels incomplete to me?
5. What were the most significant events of the year past? List the top three.
6. What did I do right? What do I feel especially good about? What was my greatest contribution?
7. What were the fun things I did? What were the not so fun?
8. What were my biggest challenges/roadblocks/difficulties?
9. How am I different this year than last?
10. For what am I particularly grateful?

Another Suggestion:

Consider listing all the things in your life you would like to let go—anything you no longer want. Give thanks for what they've brought you in terms of learning and usefulness, and then burn the list. It's a symbolic gesture to help you release the old and be open to the new. The next step is to list what you DO want—experiences, knowledge, material things, relationships, healings, whatever.

In doing this, you'll be using the principle of vacuum—releasing what you don't want and embracing what you do.

I'm confident that anything you can do to make this event more dramatic will be valuable.

Make it a great New Year by ending the last one well.

Final Thoughts:

This has been a great year. Your referrals and your support have been greatly appreciated. Thank you. My wish for you is that you will really enjoy the holiday season and 2012 will be your best year yet.

Coach Jerry

The highest compliment you can give us is to refer your family and friends.

Jerry Pinney

For the last twenty years Jerry has been president of his own firm. He has spent his career helping small business organizations grow and succeed. He has a passion for success that he shares with his clients. His current focus is providing executive and personal coaching to persons who are interested in improving their effectiveness and their ability to be successful. He is a facilitator for peer advisory groups with The Alternative Board and is a Certified One Page Plan Consultant. Jerry has facilitated planning retreats and planning sessions for many organizations.

Jerry’s experience includes serving as Vice-president of Marketing for IGA staff office, Vice-president of membership for the National Grocers Association, Sr. Vice-president of procurement for Shurfine International and the Managing Director of The Zenon Hansen Foundation.

Jerry is an Eagle Scout. He lives in Chicago with his wife Terri. Jerry spends his volunteer time as a coach and consultant for The Executive Service Corps of Chicago, an organization committed to help the non-profits in the community improve.

Jerry Pinney & Associates
102 East 32nd Street
Chicago, IL,
phone: 312-842-4577,
fax: 312-842-4705

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