Member Pandemic Stories: Jenny Reilly Consulting
21 Questions to Help You Reflect on 2020 and look forward to 2021
In March, our professional and personal lives changed overnight. Working and living through a global pandemic, lockdowns and containment measures plunging the economy into deep contraction - 'our new normal' in 'unprecedented times.'
As of December 14th, with over 70.4M COVID-19 cases and 1.59M deaths globally to date, this pandemic has seen a magnitude of loss and hardship like we have never seen in our lifetimes.
2020 has acted as a reset button both professionally and personally for some, and others, it has been a period of pure survival. Personally, 2020 has taught me many valuable lessons. I have had brilliant professional successes in my consultancy, some failures, and most importantly, equalizing reminders of what is truly important moving forward both professionally and personally. We have all had to utilize our 'resilience' muscle the past nine months, be more flexible, adjust to work and personal life integration, and business changes with speed.
The majority of the clients I consult with are small business owners between the $500,000 - $5M annual revenue range. I have helped clients from both ends of the spectrum who have been affected by COVID. I have shed tears with those whose operations came to an abrupt halt overnight. They were unable to pivot and suffered tremendously as they had to close their doors to businesses that they had invested years of sweat equity. I have also helped guide many others under immense stress due to tremendous growth, for some growing three-fold over the last nine months as their products or services were in high demand.
I asked my connections on LinkedIn and Facebook 'If you could choose one word to describe 2020, what would it be?
Some of the one-word responses included: accelerating, adaptive, agility, busy, chaotic, courage, devastating, eye-opening, grit, emotional, faith, growth, hope, humbling, inspiring, interesting, opportunity, prodigious, reset, resilience, risk, stressful, transformational, unusual and a 'waste.'
What is your word to describe 2020?
What will be your word for 2021?
I encourage you to start your 2021 goal planning process by reflecting on this chaotic year. Making a note of the lessons learned will help you clarify your takeaways, address areas of challenge, and help set your intentions and goals for 2021.
1. What was your greatest lesson this year?
2. What were the top three challenges you overcome in 2020?
3. What was the best decision you made in either your professional or personal life?
4. What accomplishment are you most proud of this year?
5. What did you learn about yourself that you were unaware of pre-COVID?
6. What new skills did you acquire?
7. What new habits did you integrate into your day?
8. What did you fail to do?
9. Are you a different person than you were this time last year? How?
10. What exhausted you, and on the flip side, reenergized you this year?
11. What 5-7 professional goals do you want to achieve in 2020?
12. What 3-5 personal goals do you want to achieve in 2020?
13. What are you going to stop doing next year?
14. What are you going to keep doing next year?
15. What do you want to start doing next year?
16. What are you planning to do to enable you to step out of your comfort zone?
17. What relationships do you want to focus on improving in 2021?
18. What technical or personal qualities do you want to strengthen next year?
19. How can you improve the integration of your work and personal life?
20. Are there any improvements you need to make to your work environment to be more productive?
21. List three-five individuals (professional or personal) who are in your support circle that you can rely on for help and advice?
Chose seven-ten goals to focus on in 2020. I usually set seven professional goals and three personal goals to work towards. Goals that are in my control and will not be affected by external forces. I use the S.M.A.R.T.E.R. goal framework when developing my goals. This framework is based on the G.E. goal-setting strategy of having goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and have a Timeline. This acronym has been added to over the years, and the S.M.A.R.T.E.R. acronym has various versions. The one that resonates with me is Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Risky (a stretch goal), Exciting (working on something that I know will give real value and I am excited about), and Relevant (to my business and time in my life).
I wish I had a crystal ball and could predict what 2021 will bring; however, I can offer the knowledge that we cannot choose our external circumstances, so why spend so much time focusing on them. I encourage you to choose to focus on what you can control in your life and set professional and personal goals for 2021 that will help you do better and be better.
I am happy to offer CANZBA members a 20-minute complimentary goal setting strategy session if you are interested. To book a convenient time, please drop me an email or call 604-616-1967.
Wishing all CANZBA Members a Merry Christmas and all the very best for a healthy and safe 2021.