posted by Sheryl Barden on December 22, 2023

Year end is the perfect time for a personal and professional audit

As the year draws to a close, it’s a natural time for those of us in business aviation—or frankly for any industry—to reflect on our journeys and take stock of our accomplishments. This introspective exercise can be incredibly rewarding, offering a sense of closure and clarity as we prepare for the year ahead.

One of the most effective ways to do this is through a year in review. This is what I like to call a personal audit that documents our achievements and growth over the past 12 months. While the details will vary from person to person, following are key questions to guide this process:

Professional Reflections and Celebrations

  • Did you complete any professional development courses or certifications?
  • Did you achieve a new title or promotion at work?
  • Did you successfully lead a team or project?
  • Did you contribute to your company’s success through cost-saving initiatives or revenue generation?
  • Did you mentor or help train others?
  • Did you overcome any significant obstacles or challenges in your professional life?

Personal Reflections and Celebrations

  • Did you embark on any personal goals, such as travel, fitness challenges, or reading goals?
  • Did you achieve any personal milestones, such as buying a home, starting a family, or overcoming a personal challenge?
  • Did you learn any valuable lessons or develop new skills?
  • Did you strengthen existing relationships or build new ones?
  • Did you experience any personal growth or gain a new perspective on life?

Answering these questions can provide a clear picture of your progress and accomplishments over the past year. It’s important to focus not just on the big wins but also acknowledge the smaller victories that contributed to your overall growth. This process allows you to celebrate your achievements and feel grateful for the experiences that have shaped you.

Preparing for the Future

However, documenting your reflections isn’t just about celebrating the past; it’s also about preparing for the future. By reviewing your accomplishments, you can identify areas where you excelled and areas where you might want to focus your efforts in the coming year. This information can be invaluable when setting new goals and developing a plan for personal and professional growth.

Additionally, consider these steps for a comprehensive year in review:

Download an annual report template. This can help you organize your thoughts and provide a framework for documenting your achievements.

Share your accomplishments with others. Consider discussing your progress with your partner, family, or mentor. This can provide valuable feedback and support.

Update your professional profiles. Make sure your resume, CV, and LinkedIn profile reflect your most recent achievements and qualifications.

Set goals for the coming year. Armed with your self-reflection, set specific and actionable goals for personal and professional growth in the year ahead.

By taking the time to reflect on the past year and celebrate your accomplishments, you can set yourself up for even greater success in the future. Remember, a year-in-review isn’t just about documenting what you did. It’s about recognizing your progress, appreciating your journey, and charting a course for the future you desire.

About the Author

Sheryl Barden, CAM, is the president and CEO of Aviation Personnel International, the longest-running recruiting and HR consulting firm exclusively serving business aviation. A thought leader on all things related to business aviation professionals, Barden is a former member of NBAA’s board of directors and its NBAA advisory council.

The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily endorsed by AIN Media Group.

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