The first step to plan for the new year in your small business is to stop, take a pause and reflect. In the Heartledpreneur world, reflection is KEY to your success moving forward. Why, you ask?

Because it is through deep reflection that we gain insight and awareness about what:

  • worked
  • didn’t work
  • needs to change

This information helps us to reposition ourselves on an aligned path into the new year.

The power of reflection is underestimated.

Taking time to pause, reflect, re-align before you PLAN for the year ahead is key. This provides you with a handle on how you need to intentionally move forward and what area of focus will best serve you. Take note of what worked and what hasn’t worked. And reflecting upon WHY will help you to create a clear and aligned path forward.

To start my reflection, I like to sit down with a hot cup of coffee in one of my favourite inspirational mugs.

Setting the stage is an important step. I light a candle and ground myself in meditation to get myself centered and in a reflective space. Then, I flip through my calendar, my agenda and my journals to remind myself of all of the events, meetings and opportunities that I experienced throughout the year. Next, I ask myself reflective questions (I have a long list that prompt me from a variety of angles).

Because the Heartledpreneurs Community includes other open-minded small business owners who have a growth mindset, the members feel inspired to look at their year from many unique perspectives. This reflection happens on a monthly basis as well as in our Quarterly PlanFest sessions.

Here’s a question: How do you know if the past year was successful or not?

At the beginning of the year, I set intentions for how I want to feel. As I go through my reflection exercises, I tap into the energy of how I felt during those experiences.

I know in my heart that it was a successful year if at the end of the activity:

  • my body, mind and soul are feeling aligned
  • and

  • I am sitting in the energy of the feeling that I wish to have felt throughout the year

And, of course, there are some tangible, measurable outcomes that I explore as well, however for me, at the core of success is the impact that I have created and the feeling that I have inside that is most important.

Part of every reflection includes a celebration.

Our reflect and connect time is a form of celebration or ceremony, and this year, I built in a celebration dance in our PlanFest 2022 experience. It felt REALLY incredible to move, smile, sing and celebrate! Celebrating the big and small wins are both important. Those small wins add up, don’t they?!

Planning for the Year ahead is a process that start to finish takes a few months for me to complete. Baked into it is a lot of percolating (if you know me, percolating is where I do my deep thinking and it is a necessity).

This process usually starts at the beginning of October and takes me right through until the end of the year. I start with reflection, move into an activity of brand re-alignment and as ideas flow through me, I create a space to document. I then sit down with intention and map out my year ahead. Blank calendar sheets help me to plan out my offerings and my marketing (I use 24 sheets – 12 for offerings and 12 for marketing) that I spread out to get a bird’s eye view and I ALWAYS work in pencil! Must be the teacher in me.

The planning process starts at a high level with a brain release and works slowly down to the specifics and details.

Our Heartledpreneur 1-1-1-1-1 Anchor Method helps me and my clients to choose our priorities and work through them on an annual level right down to a daily level. I also use a task organizer that is customized to my business to help me work through the individual tasks and to-dos for each project or goal.

Getting into the right energetic space and mindset before the new year hits is also part of my process.

Spending time in my community with other incredible, heart-centered small business owners – energizes me. Our energy becomes so powerful, electric and you cannot help but feel ready to hit the ground running. I also take the last 2 weeks of the year to slow down, to be in nature, to spend time with myself and my family so that I can start the year off re-energized, refreshed and rejuvenated – body, mind and soul.