Leaders’ New Year Check Point

‘Tis the season for reflection and goal setting.  But before you pull out the to-do list and create some over-zealous or guilt-induced 2013 goals … or before you avoid the exercise altogether because you’re painfully reminded of the overly optimistic goals you set for 2012 that you haven’t reached … let me encourage you to hit the pause button.


I know, I know:  you’re too busy to pause and take inventory. You’re behind at work, and you’re buried with home and personal responsibilities. To-dos and people are screaming for your attention. But you’re a leader. And we all know that to lead well you must pause regularly. Pausing helps you learn from experience, clarify and confirm goals, and figure out how you’ll stay sharp. It’s the first step towards living and working purposefully, joyfully, and with impact – as a good steward of the opportunities, talents, and resources you’ve been given. You are choosing to pause and ‘check in’ because you are a leader.

So carve out 20-30 minutes – right now or in the next few weeks – to consider the following questions as a way to end 2012 and begin 2013 well.

Rewind – 2012

  • What’s been the biggest win in 2012 for you – personally and professionally?
  • For what are you most grateful?
  • What’s your biggest lesson learned?
  • The biggest disappointment?

Fast Forward – 2013

  • What is your most important goal for 2013?
  • How do you need to grow to accomplish this goal?
  • What obstacles will you face with this goal and how will you overcome them?


If you just now worked through these questions, congrats!  If not now, then when? Is your ‘play’ button worn out or stuck? Is your ‘player’ in need of a tune-up? Then pauserewind, and fast forward before you hit ‘play’ again.

Happy New Year – let’s hit 2013 running well!

Image Credit.

This piece was originally posted August 16, 2011.

Joe Baker is a Partner with PeopleResults. He helps leaders and their organizations achieve effective relationships and goals and results that matter. You can reach him at jbaker@www.people-results.com or on Twitter @JoeBakerJr.