Around about now as the year comes to a close, I think it’s beneficial to Take Stock.
Being somewhat of a futurist myself, I often miss out on the valuable process of looking back. It’s easy to be more focused on dreaming up future projects, or more likely, dealing with pressing client needs. When I do make myself take a look over my shoulder, I’m surprised by the perspective I gain. Not only is it satisfying to re-live or savour a moment of a job well done, it’s informative to debrief and learn from mistakes. It can also be useful to gain a longer-term sense of momentum and direction for yourself or your business.
Taking stock helps to build motivation. When we are overly focused on the future, we so easily keep lifting the bar higher and higher without any acknowledgement of where we started. We become like goldfish with the memory of a nano second for what we have achieved… So easy to gloss over and minimise “oh that…. it was nothing”
A dash of Positive Psychology
Barbara Fredrickson’s Broaden and Build theory (very, very simplified – apologies to Barbara) states that when you allow yourself to experience a positive emotion like joy, pride, contentment or gratitude, not only does it give you a pleasant experience in the present but it actually broadens your thought-action repertoire momentarily. Put simply, these experiences are not only enjoyable in the moment they “pay it forward” in the sense of building motivation and other good things like creative thinking. This is also known as an upward rather than a downward spiral.
So take a moment to pause and acknowledge something that’s gone well this year.
Taking Stock at Changeable
The way we like to take stock is by spending a few hours formally with a coach (a taste of our own sweet medicine) as well as having informal discussions – generally done while driving to various client venues or over a Christmas bevy.
Discussion starters – in no particular order: Are we still heading in the direction we wanted to? Do we need to re-focus? Where did we stuff up? Is our focus aligned with what we really care about? What did we do really well this year? (this is the one to savour!)
What are you taking stock of this year?
I’m taking stock both personally and professionally and something that’s emerged is a sense of gratefulness:
For the roof deck my husband built when he was out of work for some of this year, which is now filled with wisteria and ivy.
For the clients who continue to challenge and trust us with important work.