Ep 133 | End of Year Reflections

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In our last episode of 2021, I want to take a minute to reflect and take some time to walk you through some of the processes that I do at the end of the year and what I do when I’m planning for the next year.

What you will learn:

What I love doing at the end of the year
→ What I want more of in 2022
→ Why you should have end year reflections
→ My challenge to you

Want to skip ahead? Here are some key takeaways

[02:53] What I love doing at the end of the year. Making a list of things that I’m grateful for, and things that I want more of, personally and professionally.
[04:31] What I want more of in 2022. Move my business more into the education space. Teaching through podcasts and programs. Providing positive tips for nonprofits to reach their fundraising goals.
[08:31] Why you should have end-year reflections. We tend to remember the negative things and have to work harder to remember the wins.
13:17] My challenge to you. Take a minute, get a piece of paper and give yourself a pat on the back for the things you’ve done this year that have been incredible and amazing. Also, write down for yourself a year from now what will be on that piece of paper the things you want to be grateful for the coming year.

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Full Transcript

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Hey everybody, welcome to another episode of the digital marketing therapy podcast. Sammy here, your host. And thank you so much for joining me on the very last episode of 2021, I can't even believe that we are already to this point, it's just, it's so crazy to me. And so on today's episode, I really just want to take a minute to reflect and take some time to, you know walk you through kind of some of the process that I do at the end of the year. And also like some of the stuff that I do when I'm planning for the next year. So I'm not setting intentions necessarily, or kind of really going through a massive New Year's Eve resolution kind of thing. 

But you know, we've talked a lot about goal setting, we've talked a lot about planning, we've talked a lot about, you know, going in 2022 strong, I just want to take a minute today to spend some time reflecting and kind of talk about how I use those reflections, to really go into the next year with intention, and making sure that I am I building the business that I want and that you're building the organization that you want. And we've we have talked about this in previous episodes, but I just think it's something that is so timely, and something that we can talk about again and again and again. Because it's just a great reminder. And we know that we hear things when we need to hear them. So I hope this is what you need to hear right now. And that this is helpful for you as you really kind of build-out for yourself professionally and personally, 2022 that you really want because you deserve it. And let's be real 2020 and 2021 definitely threw us for a lot of loops. And so let's take what we've learned and keep doing better. Okay, so let's just, let's just get right into the episode. 

[INTRO] You're listening to the digital marketing therapy podcast. I'm your host, Sammy Bedell-Mulhern. And each week, I bring you tips from myself and other experts, as well as hot seats with small business owners and entrepreneurs to demystify digital marketing and get you on your way to generating more leads and growing your business.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] So my family saw a ton of change in 2021, we moved to a completely different state, we spent months traveling, we've had kids in online school, we've had kids in, in-person school, you know, my husband left his job started a new job, we moved into a new house, you know, like all of the things.

And so as I come into the end of 2021. And I really think back, one of the things that I love to do at the end of the year is just kind of make a list. What are the things that I'm grateful for that went really well this year, one of the things that I want more of. And so for me, as I think back on this year, professionally, and personally I'm very thankful that I have a job that allows me to work from anywhere. So a lot of people are working remotely right now. And it's new, I've been working from home since 2017.

I'm definitely grateful that we are in a house now with separate workspaces. As we're recording this, my husband and I are both working from home. So it's nice that we have separate space. So I'm thankful for that. Our house in Oregon didn't necessarily have that separate space, which made it challenging.

But I'm so grateful because we had a lot of time together as a family for a few months where we were able to travel and spend more quality time with our extended family, which was really great and beautiful. And so that's something that I want to continue to grow. So one of the things, you know, that I'm really taking stock in and reflecting is the ability to continue to build my business, grow my business to provide the income in ways that my family can then travel and we can take time off or we can take kind of hybrid time off right where I can still work and things like that. So that's definitely something that I'm always thankful for and something that I'm always striving for. So as I go into 2022 that's something that I want more of, I want more. I want to move my business more into the education space, how do I help you and teach you through things like this podcast, different programs that were coming out with an ability to really hit more nonprofits with positive pause and have tips and you know, ways of thinking about their business growing, scaling, reaching your fundraising goals, getting in front of new audiences, all of those things, I want to be able to, to reach more people, which is a win-win for me, I'm helping more organizations, it's less time for me than one on one clients. It's a more consistent income, right?

We're all looking for more consistent revenue. And, you know, it allows me to have that personal kind of life that we want to have. So when you think back on 2021, for yourself, like what were the things that worked really well, and holistically helped you be a better employee, a better fundraiser a better spouse, a better parent, a better partner, whatever it might be? And how can you add more of that into your life, that's what I hope you can spend some time and just sit with some paper and just kind of free right and see what somewhat comes out because sometimes it surprises us the things that we really enjoy in our life. And then really thinking about what maybe didn't quite go as well as we expected and why. So what do we maybe want to do? Less of? And what does that look like, for me in my business, where I tend to get really stressed and overwhelmed is when I take on too many one on one clients, even though I am passionate about the project and what they're doing and who they are sometimes, you know, learning to say no, and say this isn't the right time to take on this particular project is a lesson that I'm learning.

Because it does a disservice to my entire business as a whole my family because I'm more stressed out me personally, because you know, I'm just all over the place. And I'm not doing the quality of work that I want to do. So really being true and honest with myself about what work I can handle and how much work I can handle is definitely a lesson that I have been learning over the last couple of years. But this year, really just finding that voice to say, you know what, this is a great project, but I just can't take it on right now. So I hope you'll do the same for yourself in your organization. What types of things didn't go so well? Maybe it was that you tried to do in a virtual event, but you didn't have the resources that you needed to do it well, or you tried to do it too quickly.  

Maybe it's that you didn't have the same retention of donors that you did before. So what can you do to kind of bring them back in? Is it more one on one phone calls? Is it more emails? Is it what is it some thank you letters that you can send out? What does that look like? Is it that you had a hard time working from home because you had no separation? Right? My office is right outside of our kitchen in our new house. So it's really easy for me to just pop in and check email or pop in and check social media. So I try to be very diligent about just shutting things down. And that includes like shutting the lid to my computer. So I don't hear those things when we're sitting in the living room having family time. So really kind of taking stock at what went really well. What didn't go so well? Why did things go? Well, why did things not go so well? What will I do more of what will I do less of? And what kind of change can I embrace in my business. So I love to take this time of year to really take stock of that and do that. I also think it's important because we tend to remember the negative things and have to work harder to remember the winds are big and small, especially the small, small wins.

You know, I had an aha moment a few months ago, when I was really just thinking about a project that I'm working on. And how I could have just said, you know, this just fell into my lap or I'm just so lucky. But accidents don't happen. Things don't happen by chance. And there are no overnight successes, right? These are things that I talk about a lot. So instead, I'm choosing to reframe that to myself and say, you know, because I did these things because I started these conversations because I sent out this letter because I hired this speaker, it's set into a chain reaction of events that I would have never expected to end up where they are right now. But they did. And it's because of things that I did that have allowed me to get to this point. Now it's not to build our head or ego like to make us feel really, really like oh yeah, we're amazing. We're awesome. We're like the best thing since sliced bread. That's not what we're talking about. But it is to say that, you know, we do put things in motion that sometimes we don't even understand the impact of yet. So that one conversation picking up the phone and calling that one donor we may not see that might not turn into a yes.

They'll give you money today. But we don't know the value that that conversation has with that person. In that moment, we don't know the impact that it's making for potentially future things down the road. It's like, the old adage or whatever, like, you know, when a butterfly flaps, its weight flaps, its wings, like, you know, the whole chain of effects that that happens from that. So I love really remembering the wins, big and small, so that we can remind ourselves as we go up the things that we did months ago, years ago, that are now making an effect on our business for the positive, right.

So I just, that's just what this time of year is for me. So now that I've kind of what I typically do is now that I've really kind of thought about these things, I like to put thoughtful plans in motion. And there's a lot more to the planning process, obviously, like today, I'm just kind of talking about from like a mental-emotional perspective. I'm not jumping into data yet. I'm not doing all of that. But when I think about what I want for 2022, I like to be really intentional about what that looks like, you know, how do I want to show up? What do I want my professional life to look like? What do I want my personal life to look like? How many vacations do I want to take this year? How available? Do I want to be for my kids’ activities? Do I want to be you know, present in their life? In which way do I want that to look like because it looks different for everyone. 

And what I typically have done is flood myself with these I should statements, I should go to the gym every single morning, I should want to volunteer at my kid’s school, I should, which I kind of don't want to do either of those things. And so it's really about being honest to yourself and not taking those should statements, but like, what is it that you truly want, and not feeling any sort of way about it, except that this is who I am, right? I want to have a business that reaches certain financial goals. And I have a plan for how I'm going to get there, I want to go on vacation two times a year, with my family, I want to be able to be at every single one of my kid’s performances and sporting events. And then really just kind of putting together all of the things in place to set myself up for success. Now it's a little bit easier for me when I run my own business, but if you're in an organization, and you're putting your whole plans together as a team, it's also about having that voice to say, Okay, this is based, this is what we've done in the past, this is what I think we can do this is, you know, coming up with solutions, here's how we're going to hit these fundraising goals. And if you're if they're coming at you with more and bigger and greater, and you're looking at them, like, Listen, I can't handle this, it's okay, well, here's what we're going to need to be successful.  

This is how we've done this in the past, this is what I'm willing to do, and really having conversations about what's realistic, because we want to grow together, we want to thrive together, we want to build together. So I don't want to take up too much of your time because I want you to take a minute. And just while you're listening to this, while this is fresh, just get out a piece of paper, I want you to reflect and give yourself a pat on the back for the things that you've done this year that have been incredible and amazing and let you up. And I want you to write out for yourself a year from now, when you're sitting here doing the same activity, what will be on that page piece of paper that you can say I did this, I did this, I did this and I am so happy for it. You don't have to share it with anyone. But just do it for yourself so that you can go into 2022 with all of the intentions for the life that you want. And for the goals that you're setting. 

And keep moving forward and keep it somewhere where you can review it regularly whether it's in a calendar invite that you have in your Google Calendar, and you copy that text and you just have it set recurring every week or every month so that you can review it or you have it in a journal somewhere or you have it in your iPhone, whatever it is, keep it somewhere where you can review it regularly throughout the year to keep you inspired to keep you focused and to keep you on track. So happy end of 2021 I'm so thankful that you have been here with me all year. We have some exciting things happening with the digital marketing therapy podcast. So of course we launched our Patreon earlier this year, which is something we're celebrating so you can learn more about that at thefirstclick.net/Patreon. If you want tools and resources to help keep you accountable and get the work done.

We're going to be on YouTube. So you can go to thefirstclick.net/YouTube and all of our episodes in 2022 will be recorded with video as well. So if you want to access our content that way and some additional resources, you are totally able to do so. So the first episode will be live next Tuesday so I can't wait for you to check it out. So again, that's thefirstclick.net/YouTube. For now, I hope you'll head on over to YouTube and subscribe or subscribe wherever you listen so you don't miss out on a single episode. I appreciate you all so much. Happy New Year!

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