End-of-Year Checklist for Leaders and Force Multipliers

The fourth quarter is here and it’s the perfect time to start planning for the year ahead! Leaders and Force Multipliers alike can benefit from goal setting, calendar planning, updating resumes, organizing information, and creating growth plans. Here are 10 ideas to help you end the year strong, and create a tailwind going into 2023 for your personal and professional life.

1. Goal Setting & Business Planning

These two activities go hand-in-hand. The business planning will stem from the goal setting activity. Think big! What do you and your team/company want to accomplish in the year ahead? What do you want to accomplish in your career? Do you have a specific promotion or compensation increase in mind? How do your and your team’s goals contribute to the company’s overall goal? Are you clear on your Executive’s goals? From there, you can take each goal and create a business plan and roadmap for how you will accomplish that goal – whether it’s for the business or your career.

2. Update Your Weekly Execution Plan

After you have narrowed down your annual goals, add them to your Weekly Execution Plan. These annual goals will act as your North Star as you complete your monthly goals, and then your weekly goals each week. Each week’s activities should be helping you hit your monthly goals. And if you hit your monthly goals, then you will be accomplishing your annual goals.

3. Annual Calendar Review & Planning

Do a thorough review of the current calendar. Which meetings do you want to keep, delegate, or delete, or, at the very least, cut down to 20 minutes or once a month or once a year? This goes for both the leader and Force Multipliers! Then start looking at the year ahead. Placeholders are your friend! First, put any vacation time, school holidays, and training or conferences on the calendar. Next, add all reoccurring meetings that you know you want – and need – to keep, such as annual company advances, monthly board meetings, weekly 1:1s with the leadership team, etc. From there, you can begin to block off any other time throughout the year that aligns with the company’s goals – such as time for writing a book, weekly media pitches, or interview slots for a new COO in Q2. It’s all about thinking ahead and blocking off the necessary time to achieve the company’s objectives, as well as the objectives for the leader and Force Multiplier.

4. Close the Loops

Q4 is the perfect time to close the loops and tie up loose ends before the clock strikes midnight on January 1! How many unfinished projects do you have floating around from earlier this year? Think big and small. Do you have websites to upgrade? Contractors to hire for your house? Continuing education classes to complete? Dentist appointments to make? A YouTube channel to finish setting up? Annual calendar planning to complete? Make a list of all your projects – big and small – and rate them in order of importance (and how long you’ve been sitting on the idea or task). Of these items, which ones give you energy? Which ones are weighing you down? If you’re not sure, imagine you didn’t have to do one, and see how you feel. If you feel free, it might be okay to table the idea or task for later, or just delete it altogether! If you feel excited about the idea, then it’s time to get it on the calendar and act it on! You don’t want to go into the new year with these ideas and projects hanging over your head. Take the next few months to close the loops!

5. Create a Personal Growth Plan

Much like goal setting and business planning, creating a growth plan will keep you focused and aiming in the right direction. A personal growth plan is a strategic planning activity that enables you to plan and track your growth while allocating limited resources towards specific personal goals. Goals are the target. Growth Plans are how you become the person you need to be in order to hit your goals. To learn more about how to create a growth plan, click here.

6. Create a NOT To-Do List

As you are evaluating your goals, meetings, and obligations for the year ahead, consider what you DO NOT want to be doing anymore. Create a not to-do list that outlines all the project, tasks, and responsibilities that you would like to stop doing in the year ahead – this may mean you delegate those items to another team member, hire new staff, get an intern, outsource to a third party, or just eliminate from the company’s business activities all together. Eliminating these items from your day may not happen overnight, but it’s great to think ahead and to be ready when the opportunity to stop or delegate items on your not to-do list arise.

7. Take a Behavior Assessment

Self-awareness is the key to success in business and life. Taking a behavior assessment (or several) helps you understand yourself, so that you can communicate better, be more effective, and ultimately be a better strategic business partner. Bonus points if both the leader and Force Multiplier set aside time to take a behavior assessment and sit down to discuss where they align and where they may experience conflict. Gaining a better understanding of YOU, once a year, is a great way to end the year on a high note.

8. Update Your Job Description & Resume

While I like to do this activity quarterly, you should be updating your job description, resume, and LinkedIn profile, at least once a year. You want your job description to accurately reflect the work you are doing today – not when you were hired years ago. Along the same lines, you want your resume and LinkedIn profile to show what you are doing now, the impact you are making on your organization and/or community, as well as what your core strengths are. You never know when an opportunity may arise inside or outside of your organization – be ready.

9. Set Up Your Wins & Notable Moments Journal

Speaking of being ready, one of the best ways to do that is by keeping track of your accomplishments, wins, notable moments, awards, feedback, etc. throughout the year. Take a few minutes to create a spreadsheet to track the following: Date, Win/Notable Moment, Brief Description, People/Places that were impacted, and what company or annual goal those wins contributed to. Schedule time in your calendar to be reviewing and adding to this journal at least once a week. Celebrate your wins and track them for future use!

10. Organize & Clean House

What better time than the end of the year to purge files, finally finish that office organization project, clean up passwords and contacts, unsubscribe from emails, and update office manuals. While this could certainly be a quarterly activity, at least once a year, set aside a few days to get organized so you can hit the ground running with a clear mind (and clean desk/office/files) before the new year.

What other activities do you like to do at the end of the year to make the next one more productive and fulfilling? Share your ideas in the comments below!

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