It’s the end of the year and while most people are getting ready for January 1st and the calendar to turn, how are you spending this time before the year closes? For me, this time of year is about reflecting, assessing how I FEEL, and not just phoning in the remainder of the year but making it meaningful.
Something that I always do in my business at the end of the year is take inventory of everything — from accounting to content to energy and time spent, I look at the year as a whole and assess what will come with us into the new year, and what gets left behind.
This is a Kylie and Jenna episode all about this crucial time of year and how to make the most of it so you’re not just waiting for January to arrive without a vision for what’s to come. Let’s dive in!
Time for Reflection
When you think of inventory, your mind might go straight to numbers, but I challenge you to think about your energy and how you actually feel. That’s one of the most important things I reflect on at the end of a calendar year. How do I feel? Am I burnt out? Am I inspired and excited?
The answer to those questions can really guide us forward in a new and beautiful way — it’s balancing this desire to make every day in every week count and to be present as we close out the year, but also being really, really intuitive and in touch with assessing, “how do I feel when I finish this race?”
I’ve made this reflection process a ritual at the end of the year. I literally draw a bubble bath, light a candle, and journal in my tub. If you’re someone who regularly journals, take this time to read back through what you wrote. If not (or you want to start), this journaling exercise can be the beginning of a new habit that will allow you to reflect and process in real time, plus, have something to look back on the next year.
Equally important to how you feel at the end of the year is knowing where you stand numbers-wise. You’ll want to pull accounting statements, sales figures, payroll spend, ad spend, number of followers, number of viewers, subscribers, and any sort of data point you have.
A lot of times this process doesn’t happen until tax time, but data can leave clues and if you can see those things before you’re already a quarter into the year around tax season, you’re way better off and can recognize trends earlier.
A few guiding questions to ask when looking at your numbers during inventory: Did ad spend go up or down? Did sales go up or down in relation to ad spend? Are expenses up or down? Why? Did you see a big spike in audience size? What do you attribute that to?
Noting an up, down, or steady trend in your numbers and then exploring the “why” is a great way to take the pulse of your business and identify areas where you need to cut, expand, or pour gasoline on the fire of what’s working.
Energy and Time Inventory
Take a look back at your calendar for the last year. What events, opportunities, projects, launches, and other obligations did you say yes to? And how did those give or take your energy?
When I knew I was going to be a mom for the first time, I reflected on the events that I committed to in the year before I became a mom and decided that for my first year of motherhood, I was saying no to every event or opportunity presented to me. I knew that travel and live events drain my energy, and I wanted the autonomy to make decisions about what I would agree to in real time, no committing to those things in advance before I knew that I’d feel like as a mom.
Finally, you’ll want to take inventory of your time. Where are you spending your days? What tasks soak up the most of your time and are those things the best use of your time?
For me, time isn’t segmented into black and white. My time is spent in a place of gray, where it’s devoted to the things that need me most in that moment — whether it be my children or my business. But knowing where your time is spent might reveal where you need to outsource or find help so you can give your time to other areas that need you more in the coming year.
The Big Picture
You did it. Another year in business, or maybe it was your first. Wherever you stand in your entrepreneurial journey, I hope that you give yourself the gift of reflection at the end of 2021 to recognize how far you’ve come and where you’re going. Taking inventory of your time and energy is just as important (maybe moreso) than your numbers, so leave room to ask yourself, “How do I feel?” and let that answer guide you into an incredible new year of possibilities.