11 questions to help you reflect on 2018 and plan for 2019

11 questions to help you reflect on 2018 and plan for 2019

happy new yearAt the end of every year, it is only natural for us all to look back on the year we have just had and forward to the year we strive for, personally and business wise, especially when you are a Business Owner, MD, Director or CEO.

We want to reflect to see if we achieved what we wanted to for the last 12 months as well as remember what happened to us during the year.

If it was positive or negative.

Generally, we always remember the negative, which is why reflection and planning is a great thing.

Remembering your past year helps you see where you have come from (past) and to (present) and where you would like to go (future).

We also look forward to the future to plan for our days, weeks and months ahead for the new year. Working out if we want to carry on with our unactioned goals or make new ones in their place. At times, whilst we do this, we also scorn ourselves for not achieving more or being more in hope that the new year will be different and bring the fruits of our labour.

During the festive break I listened to a Podcast which inspired me. It said;

Are you making probable goals or possible goals?

Probable being goals you know you can achieve by a certain time.

Possible being goals that are possible but probably not within the next year.

You can listen to the podcast here > https://halelrod.com/4-questions-that-will-change-your-life-replay/

They went on to say that “anything is possible”. Which is true.

Here’s what happened next…

I took this quote and thought about it more.

The meaning of possible is “able to be done or achieved”.

Yes, anything is possible!

But the question I asked myself was… Have I been setting possible or probable goals?

The answer is, I haven’t been setting goals that are possible I have been setting probable goals. Ones I believe I can achieve. Some of them I don’t finish or even start them due to a change in priority or that age old excuse of time.

When I read, listen or watch something, generally I remember a few key parts which I want to action. I believe there is no point in learning lots of new things if you don’t put that learning into action.

So, moving forward, if this is the “one thing” I take away what am I going to do about it and or because of it.

Which got me thinking…

Something that Gary Veynerchuck said in a book and in many videos. It’s not about achieving the goal (or in his case, buying the New York Jets).

It’s about the journey, not the destination…


Christmas Eve 2018

On Christmas Eve I went live into the Integrated Marketing Society. Koogar’s free group for Business Owners and Marketing Managers wanting to get ideas, inspiration and motivation to market themselves better.

Watch the video here > https://www.facebook.com/koogar/videos/10156924073403156/

I went on to ask the following questions in the group. 11 questions to help the members reflect on 2018 and plan for 2019…

Q#1: What went well in 2018?

What did you do really well, what went well? Sometimes we don’t actually ask ourselves that question. To be fair, most of the time we don’t ask that question to ourselves. We remember all the negative stuff, but we never actually say, “You know what? I’m going to pat myself on the back, I actually did X, Y and Z. amazingly well!

Q#2: What surprised you the year?

What came out of the woodwork that you were just like, “Oh my god, isn’t that amazing?”

What opportunity landed on your desk?

It could be a negative thing, let’s say. It could be that a relationship ended or you had an amazing opportunity that came up and just changed the way in which you do business.

#Q3: What did this year teach you?

Did it teach you good things or bad things?

Did it teach you that you’ve got bad habits?

Did it teach you that you need to do more with something or someone?

Sometimes we don’t realise the lessons that we’ve learned over the year until we reflect.

I’ve certainly have learned some lessons over this year and have done every year I have been in business.

They help you become the person you are. They make you stronger. They make you more resilient to change.

#Q4: What have you observed? What have you noticed?

Have you seen a trend that’s happening? Is there an attitude or an arrogance? What’s going on within your location, industry or network?

Have you noticed that the way in which you do business has changed or your attitude toward your business has changed? Have you grown in a different way?

Q#5: What needs to be left behind?

There is some stuff this year that you just need to park, bury or just throw away.

Whatever it is, write it down.

Is it an attitude that you have towards yourself, towards other people?

Is it a relationship?

Is it something that’s just not working for you and you think, “I need to change the way in which we do this.

Q#6: Finish this sentence off > 2018 was a year of … What?

2018 was a year of … What? Was it a year of pain?

Was it a year of great business, great relationships, amazing opportunities? Was it a year of learning?

All of these questions actually you can utilise for yourself personally as well as for your business.

These six questions are questions that are all about last year (in this case 2018 and how it served you).


Has it served you well? Did you enjoy it? Did you not enjoy it? What could you do better? What could you change? Think of all the positives, it’s not about looking at the negatives and regret and worry and putting yourself down. We are already hard on ourselves.


This is about saying to yourself, “Okay, this is where I am, and this is what’s got me here.”

Just take a moment to have a look at and observe what happened to you over the last 12 months.

Q#7: Where do you need to go next?

Where’s your journey? Where is it going to take you? This is all about 2019.

Where do we want to go? What do we want to do? Who do we want to do it with? What’s next? Where is your next step going to take you?

Is it still in the same thing that you’re doing now or is it in something completely different? Is it something that you want to add/tag onto what you’re currently doing?

Q#8: What are your top business goals for 2019?

What are your top business goals for 2019? Do you want to triple your profit/turnover, or do you want to get fifty or a thousand more clients?

Do you want to take on a new member of staff? Do you want to take on a PA to just help you do all those little bits and pieces that you don’t really want to do?

REMEMBER: create possible goals not probable goals!

Q#8a: Have you ticked off the business goals that you wanted to achieve last year (2018)?

I’m assuming that you created some last year, but have you ticked them off?

The reason why I’m asking this question is because sometimes we need to look back to see how far we have come.

Some of the goals you set haven’t been achieved, like I said before, due to priorities and opportunities that have arisen. Just check on what you set yourself last year to see how well you have done against them.

Q#9: What do you need to learn in 2019?

Is there something new that you need to learn? Is it a new piece of software or technology? Is it a new behaviour, sales or marketing?

Do you need to learn how to market something in a particular way? It could be that you want to learn more about Social Media or that you want to learn more about your website and how it could work better for you. *Check out our events

What do you need to learn in 2019 and where do you need to go to learn it? Can you do it online? Can you go to a course? Can you go on a conference? Where do you need to go to learn it?

Q#10: Finish this sentence off > 2019 will be the year of …

What does that look like? You will do, be, have or want what?

Is that part of your goal or is it something different, something separate to what you want to do?

Q#11: Finish this sentence off > In 2019 I will do more of …

This could be personal, or business related…

What will do you more of in the new year and how is it going to affect or help you achieve the goals you are setting for yourself and others?


So, there you have it… 11 questions.

Every single person I know is already looking at their goals for 2019, if not completed them already. If you haven’t done them that’s cool. The time is now.

What one word will you take into 2019?

2017 was the first time I choose a word to take into the new year and it was “commitment”.

Commitment to my business, myself, my sport (rowing), my squad, my relationships.

What is the one word you will be taking into the new year?

I’ve realised that my word for this year (2019) is “Consistency”.

Consistency in the gym, our own marketing, the way I do business, food choices.

What now?

Have a think about what is it that you want to want to achieve over the next couple of years, not only just for 2019 but in the next couple of years.

Since November, I’ve been looking at my 1, 3 and 5 year goals helping me to plan my future not only in business but on a personal front too. Where will you be in 5 years’ time and are the goals you are writing down today moving you towards them or away from them?

I have answered these questions myself over the last few days, personally and professionally.

I listened to some music whilst I did it and also, I did it with someone else. Once we finished, we then read them out to each other and talked them through. It was powerful and emotional I can tell you.

This is what I listened to whilst answering these questions:


Reflecting and planning enables you to see where you have been, know where you are today and project where you are going in the future.

Without them, you will keep doing what you’re doing without knowing how you are doing, if you are doing it as best you can or how to progress.

The final step!

A lot of our thinking happens below the surface of consciousness and we may not be fully aware of what we think or how we think on a regular basis as it can become habit. Therefore, conscious thinking, reasoning, and logic can only get you so far in self-improvement.

Using rituals, you can suggest thoughts to your subconscious mind without needing to access it directly.

The final step is a 5-step process

  1. Write down all the negative things on a piece of paper
  2. Go outside
  3. In turn read them out loud
  4. Set them on fire
  5. Watch them burn and float away

This may sound strange and maybe something you’ve not done before but it’s very enlightening.

Reflecting and planning can be hard and a sobering process, but it allows you to leave some things behind that you don’t need to take into the new year.

Feel free to leave a comment below to let me know how you get on, what you noticed when doing it, how you felt and what you are going to do because of answering these questions.

I’d love to hear from you!

I wish you all the best for the year ahead!

Marketing Tip #24: Setting Goals Within Your Business

Setting goals within your business is a great way of staying focused. 

Concentrating and being highly focused on what you want to achieve from your business will always see you striving for a goal; good motivation for any business, whether start up or established.

By properly channelling your motivation, energy, ideas and drive you will succeed in any goals you have set yourself.

The goals you set for your business should not be unachievable, but attainable, especially for start up businesses.  By setting smaller goals at first which you can achieve you can build up confidence within the business and then begin to aim higher and higher, ensuring the goal is always reached.

So, instead of saying “I’m going to make a profit of £250,000 this year,” try setting a goal along the line of “I’m going to sell 50 widgets per week.”  By setting this kind of goal, you are aiming for at least 50 per week, meaning any more is a bonus, which you’ll feel great about when you achieve higher.

This kind of focus is incredibly important, for any company, as it represents the drive and ambition behind the business.