People sure do like New Year’s Resolutions. It is a great time to look back on all those accomplishments you may have forgotten to pat yourself on the back for. Sweeping the rest under the rug and PROMISING to do better next year seems to get a lot of attention as well. How long do those resolutions last? Three weeks? Three months? I’m right there with you!

What if I told you that you should be going through this process every single month?

(Whoa there, Lynette! That’s a lot of extra WORK. It’s also pretty HARD since I usually let a lot of stuff slip and blame it on “busy.” )

Keeping yourself on track incrementally makes it much easier to refocus direction with less effort than if you wait until the end of Q4 to panic. For example, if you’ve just gotten through the first three months of the year and find that you’re short on revenue or over on expenses or behind on filling a vacant position… maybe you can see where I’m going here. It’s better and easier to fix it now than in nine months.

The questions below are what I ask myself, and have my clients ask themselves, at the end of every single month. You may find auto-scheduling this in your calendar with a 30-minute time slot helps (copy/paste in the questions or just pop in a link to this post.) Some questions may jump out at you one month over another. Some questions may not apply another month. The exercise here is to get into a routine of taking the pulse of your business and yourself. (You didn’t think the answers to these questions had to be ALL business, did you?)

Now, what good is tracking goals if you don’t actually track results and review them? I suggest that you track your responses in a spreadsheet. Make a header column for each question. Make the header row each month’s date. Fill in the answers every month. Copy and paste the cheat sheet below to get started. After that are some examples of questions you can answer for each section.

What did I achieve this month?

What worked this month?

What challenges did I encounter?

What improvements can be made?

What am I grateful for?

Who have I helped and how?

What did I achieve this month?

Publish a blog article? Land a new client? Implement an invoicing system? Attend a networking event?

What worked this month?

Did meditation help you focus? Did that new hire take the pressure off your workload? New sales tactic land business?

What challenges did I encounter?

Sick kids throw a wrench in your meeting schedule? Client cancel on you? Miss a deadline?

What improvements can be made?

Need to practice better time management? Need to work on work/life boundaries? Need to eat better or exercise more?

What am I grateful for?

What gave me joy this month? Did your neighbor pick up your kids from school? Did you bring home takeout and get to spend extra time with family? Did your spouse fold the towels out of the dryer?!

Who have I helped and how?

Did I express a random act of kindness? Did I grab a friend for coffee when she needed an ear to talk to? Did I throw a perk to a client that could use it?

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