IWith the onset of 2016 it behooves one to reflect on 2015 even for a little bit.

* What road was traveled and why?
* Where did it start?
* How did it end?
* What efforts were given?
* Is the momentum still there?
* Most important of all: What was learned and where do you go from here?

In doing my own 2015 review, I discovered my own 5 R’s, which are the crux of this article.

Review

In looking back “Hind Sight is Great” if you are able to see the road you took and all the other questions I asked above. In reviewing the past year, it gives valuable insight to your path traveled and any deviance's. Most of all if you are honest it will give you your “why your business is where it’s at today.” Let’s be honest, for the most part any setbacks have their own momentum and are there for a reason.

* Was this setback there to teach you something?
* How did this affect you?
* How did you respond?
* Did you see the lesson?
* Where did you go from there?

All these questions and more will arise as you do an in-depth self-analysis. You can also do this with someone you trust. It is best to answers all your questions and please write down your questions and answers because in a year’s time you will not recall anything with any degree of accuracy. As a bookkeeper, it is always prudent to review the prior year to ensure the financials are accurate and balanced. The same should apply to your life.

Rethink

Rethinking your strategy gives you the opportunity to look at what worked and what didn’t. The biggest question that needs to be asked is, “Did I meet my original objectives?” For me, I did and more. Could I have done more? Perhaps. So, to rethink requires reading the overall plan or outline of your business goals.

* What worked?
* What didn’t work?
* How much time was spent doing “other” unimportant things?
* Where was your energy spent?
* Why?
* What can be improved upon this year?
* Did you plan enough?
* Did you plan to fail?

These questions and no doubt if you go to your mentor other questions, usually tougher ones, will arise. Are you prepared to answer these questions with total honesty while accepting responsibility? As all bookkeepers know, we are responsible for the state of a client’s records; no exceptions.

Redefine

Now you are wondering what there is to redefine. By redefining your 2015 goal achievements, and your not so stellar achievements, you are ready to redefine your 2016 goals. Having examined my own 2015 with the help a few people I trust has opened up doors in one day. I’m in awe of the process.

Some questions for you:
* What were your 2015 goals?
* Did you achieve them?
* If so how many?
* If not, why not?
* How would you do it differently?
* What part would you change?
* And why?
* Will this change enhance your business?
* Should you run some things by your mentor?

Looking back but not staying there will release the feeling of should have, would have, could have; which is a feeling that will pull you backwards. In order to move beyond that, it is best to reconcile those thoughts and emotions then let them go to a better place. If you have to, do this with someone who can assist you.

Regroup

Regrouping is exactly what it says: all of the above will give you the benefit of fresh ideas, renewed energy, and higher optimistic outlook, which should propel you into 2016 with new momentum.

* Did you see something new?
* Are you going to try it?
* Have you developed more awareness?
* Are you going to plan better?
* Did you understand where improvement could be made?
* Are you seeking assistance with your planning?
* Did you write everything down?

Tip: By writing it down, at a glance you will see your successes and achievements. Bookkeepers keep notes on what their clients’ needs are. Reason is simple, they are busy and it is far easier to read their comments rather than keep it in their heads.

Re-plan

At this stage, which is the 5th R in this series, the main question should be “Did my old plan work or do I need a new plan for 2016?”

For myself, I need a new plan with some tweaks here and there. As a bookkeeper, it is a good practice to re-evaluate the prior year, in this case 2015. Not because of the need to keep accurate records but it helps in defining the weak areas of your business.

* Do you need a new plan?
* What are you going to tweak?
* When are you going to implement it?
* How are your going to put it into action?
* Is it a sound plan?
* Did you spend time on it?

Some mentors will do a closed door weekend session with their clients. The need to focus so intently on 2016 plan is to get momentum going. The more excited and emotional you are in striving to achieve your desired goals the better the results. However, having said that, make sure you are not attached to the outcome as a definitive end. The end result may look different than your imagined.

(Musing)

My 2015 was challenging at best and at worst chaotic. What I got out of that year is a great mentor/coach, who stood by my not so cool discussions. Many kudos to her for being there; while others misunderstood she stood firm. That is just the tip of the iceberg as to what I got out of the year. Here is a small list: courage, strength, knowledge, took responsibility, weaknesses showed, fear arose, and showed me what I needed to know and much, much more. What did you get out of your 5 R’s?

Take comfort in knowing that your financial records are safe and secure. If you want a free consultation, please call me or email.

Linda