A few years ago, I noticed that most of the year-end review tools out there focused on the negative. You know–here’s what you HAVEN’T DONE, here’s the goal you MISSED, etc.
That perspective drove me crazy. Plus, to be honest, it made me feel like crap right at a time when I needed to feel positive, energetic, and ready for the new year that’s here.
So, I made my own tool: my Year-End Look Back.
And before we get too far into 2020, I’m sharing a few of my answers from this year’s review here.
My Year-End Look Back for 2019
Here are my answers for a few of the big questions on the Look Back:
The things I’m proudest of this year are . . .
Does it sound corny to say that I’m proudest of serving YOU?
Well, as Kate Winslet says in “The Holiday,” “I like corny. I’m looking for corny in my life.”
Not only did my team and I get to serve you through the great companies that hire us to coach their leaders or facilitate learning events with their managers, teams or even board members, but we also were honored to serve so many of you as a private, personal career & leadership coach (someone you can work with outside of any relationship with your company.)
We also served many of you through our on-demand online courses (like “Should You Stay or Go? Make Your Best Career Decision“–my personal favorite for the amazing changes it can inspire) and our LIVE get-it-done workshop, End the Year Strong.
I’m also proud of how many of you we got to see in person at events where I spoke, such as the IABC Business Communicators Summit in Kansas City, IAAP World Summit outside of Washington, DC., and the Naples PRSA team right here at home.
Finally, I’m proud I recognized I needed more and in some cases different help this year, and so we expanded the team this year, with Deb and Lei Ann coming onboard. Bringing our superpowers to work definitely takes a team!
The things I’m proud I did NOT do this year are . .
. . . procrastinate fun, family or community.
True, I work hard, and everyone working with me works hard, too.
But I really work hard to be fully present, and when I’m taking time off, and put that to the test when we went to Italy last summer.
Even though I always had my phone with me for maps or translations, I didn’t look at email at all until we were on the plane home. I even planned three days off after I returned, knowing I’d need the rest and rehab from a few weeks of wine drinking and exploring!
But, I had confidence that all was handled and that the most important thing I could do was to be right there in that beautiful country with people I love.
Believe me, this isn’t easy. But I’m proud I resisted the urge to get distracted.
The ideas or situations that became clearer to me this year were . . .
. . . these two big things.
Big Thing #1: One of most important things I can offer you is encouragement.
Again, this seems corny, but time and time again you write me and thank me not just for the strategy or perspective I’ve shared, but for the cheerleading and unconditional belief that you CAN bring your superpowers to work.
We’ll be looking at other ways we can ramp up this encouragement in 2020 by finding more ways to connect and more ways for you to really hear the positive but practical messages that are the most useful to you.
Big Thing #2: We think our issue is time, but that’s not necessarily true.
In 2019, I asked you about your most challenging issues at work.
Usually, I hear about managing change, or dealing with difficult people.
But this year, one issue rose to the top. And it’s not a new issue, but the feeling of “I don’t have enough time” skyrocketed in 2019.
Over the years, we’ve developed a bunch of tools to help you get control over your time (including my on-demand course “Secrets to Make More Time for You, Your Career & Your Life”).
But now, I know we’re going to have to go deeper.
Because in my work with clients, I always find that “time” is not the problem.
Making decisions is the problem. Staying confident in what you’ve chosen and what you believe is the problem. Having courage is the problem.
So, in 2020, we’ll be working to stay away from useless time “hacks” and instead digging more into all of the surrounding challenges that make us feel like we have no time.
I felt like a hero and wore my red cape when I . . .
. . . raised my hand (nervously) to volunteer as a guardian for our local Honor Flight.
This organization takes US veterans on a day trip to Washington, DC., to visit the monuments in their honor and celebrate their service to our country. As a guardian, you’re responsible for one of the 80+ vets traveling that day.
It would have been easy to say “I don’t have time,” or “I don’t want to get involved.”
But I’m so glad I didn’t.
And of course, I’m not the hero here–our vets are. But did I feel good that it was within my power to do something special and memorable for someone else? Absolutely.
And what about at work?
At work, I felt like a hero when I heard the feedback from our live End the Year Strong Workshop, held in early November.
This fast-paced, 90 minute deep dive virtual workshop was designed to help you dig into your accomplishments and learnings so you could pull them out, get them on paper, and be ready for an annual review, pay conversation, or just to update your thinking about what you’ve done and where you want to go next.
Workshop participants told us afterwards:
“Darcy’s process is actionable, encouraging & uplifting.”
“It’s worth it. I didn’t realize how much I accomplished. Just having this info down – wow – I hadn’t realized how much it was hanging over my head. I feel lighter!”
Thanks to everyone who participated! Plus, we’ll be doing more “get-it-done-with-Darcy” workshops like this in 2020–watch your Insider’s email (and if you’re not yet an Insider, join us here, free.)
The hardest thing I did this year was. . .
I made a mistake and agreed to take on a time-consuming nonprofit commitment that I knew wasn’t in my superpower space.
Not only has it been draining and not much fun, I haven’t done a very good job at it, either.
So I’ll learn from that and trust my gut more going forward, and complete the commitment as well as I can.
If I could sum up last year in one final word, it would be . . .
. . flow. . as in I went with it, and tried to find it.
If I could give myself one word of focus for this year, it’d be . . .
. . like last year, it’s probably PLAN. But maybe CONNECT. And definitely CREATE.
What’s your word? And how did your 2019 go? I always love to hear from you. If you’re in our Insider Community, just hit REPLY to any of my emails to you.
If you didn’t like how 2019 played out, maybe it’s time to talk to a coach like me. A confidential 30-minute consultation is free and straightforward, with no sales pitch or obligation to do anything except be yourself.
Spots fill up fast, though, so schedule yours now and get the support that’ll make your new year the best one yet.
Happy New Year, and here’s to a great 2020!