My business year ends on December 31st and so I often take some time in the first month of each year to sit down in order to review the year that has passed and make some choices about the year that is to come. This is a practical ritual that is immensely helpful. There is nothing flaky or woo about it.
In order to move forward in my teaching work and in my career, it has been extremely helpful for me to have a formal system in place for periodically reviewing where I am at and where I want to go. When I don’t take the time to do this I can get so caught up in the doing of my work that I forget to pause and take stock of what I have actually accomplished. I can become fixated on what has not been done or the mistakes I think I have made, rather than noticing what is going right or how much I have learned.
Which is why I sit my ass down at least once a year and review everything.
Part of this includes looking at my financial reports and making choices about which programs or projects I want to keep, which I want to let go, this is not super fun but it is important. But another part of my yearly review consists of opening up my journal and asking myself a few simple questions. I’m sharing some of these with you today in the hopes that they will support your own practice of looking back and creating a solid vision for the future. Doing this reflection work has been instrumental in helping me to make decisions in my business, decisions that have allowed me to keep moving in the direction of a sustainable career I truly love.
So give it a try for yourself. Get a fresh new journal for your 2019 business year (it does not need to be fancy) and use some of my questions as a starting point for your own year end review.
- What were your successes in the last year? (contracts you loved, teaching events that inspired you, collaborations that worked, personal growth etc)
- Were there any significant shifts in how you did your teaching work in the last year? (started at a studio, left a studio, taught online, ran workshops etc)
- What were your greatest challenges in regards to the business aspect of your teaching work in the last year? (marketing, contracts, tech hurdles, etc)
- What lessons can you take away from your business challenges in 2018? (what did you learn?)
- Can you give a name to how 2018 felt in regards to your teaching work? (Fast & Furious? The Year of Steady Growth? The Year of Hard Knocks? have fun with this)
- What are your intentions for overcoming current challenges or ongoing areas of confusion in your business for 2019?
- What is your vision for 2019? Is there a word that describes your focus or intention for this year? How do you want to feel when you sit down to review your teaching year in early 2020?
I hope you found this helpful and I encourage you to add your own questions and make this ritual your own. I love keeping everything in a journal but other folks love to create vision boards. I’m a big fan of anything that works for you.
If you are looking for more support and inspiration for your teaching career in 2019 you can also join me for 8 weeks of focused business coaching for yoga teachers. I created The Professional Yoga Teacher online course just for this purpose and you can check it out here. We start on Jan 16th, 2019 and I only offer this program once per year. Hope you can join me.