8 EOY Reflection Questions for Business Owners

Last week, we gave a brief overview of how to conduct a year-end review. Now, we’ll dig into some more specifics, starting with reviewing your goals with a set of EOY reflection questions. 

Feel free to skip around or pick and choose the questions you want to think about, depending on your specific situation. The most important part is giving yourself the time to think about where you’ve been and how far you can go. 

Better yet, consider working through your EOY reflection questions with a business coach. Not only will they push you to expound on your thoughts, but they will also be able to respond with follow-up questions that dig deeper into your business’s potential. 

What five adjectives describe my business in 2022?

Be as precise as possible, avoiding generalizations like “good,” “bad,” or “fine.” The purpose of the summary is to think critically about your feelings for your business, not to reduce all of the work and love you poured into it down to its most basic level.

A great tool is Simplicable’s “220 Words to Describe Business,” as it offers words with both positive and negative connotations and can help you make intangible observations into more tangible concepts. 

What are the three most significant things I achieved this year?

Big or small, you should take the time to celebrate how far you’ve come over the last 365 days as a business owner. 

Think about everything from increasing sales to hiring an incredible new employee, along with the specific steps you took to get there so that you can replicate those achievements again in the future. 

What are three things I could or should have achieved this year?

It can be tough to think about your “failures,” but it’s important to fully understand what passed you by. Then, you can be more proactive and reactive when those opportunities come up in the future. 

By limiting the scope to only 3 “coulda, shoulda, woulda” reflections, you’re not letting yourself get bogged down mentally with regrets but instead creating a realistic set of goals to keep in mind as you move forward. 

What areas of my business can I step away from?

We’ve talked about the importance of delegation as a form of employee empowerment and maintaining work-life balance. Still, it’s difficult to walk away from tasks you’ve always had a handle on. 

Be realistic about the areas of your business you’re willing to let someone else take the reins on, then take the necessary steps to set them up for success. 

That might involve explicit training or simply being willing to say, “I would like you to take this over, and I’m excited to hear your plan. What resources can I offer you?”

What milestones led me to reach my KPIs?

Most of these EOY reflection questions are qualitative, but it’s also essential to dig into the quantitative data. 

As you think about your KPIs, create a roadmap of checkpoints and milestones that led you there. You’ll be grateful to have it on hand when you start plotting out your key performance indicators for 2023. 

What beliefs do I have about my business and the people within it?

Everyone has assumptions and beliefs about their business, both good and bad. Lay them all out on the table and consider why you have them. Are they reflective of how others feel about your business?

Who deserves accolades for their time, talent, or triumphs?

Your employees need to hear how they’ve contributed to the success of your business, complete with details about what they did, how they did it, and why you’re grateful for their presence in your professional life. 

If you struggle to identify specific instances, prioritize employee recognition in 2023. It’s one of the most valuable things you can do for engagement and retention. 

Plus, it makes everyone feel good!

What would a successful 2023 look like for my business?

As you wrap up your reflection, I would encourage you to undertake a visualization exercise in which you picture what your success would look like and the emotions that would come along with it. 

HuffPost summarizes the concept beautifully:

“According to research using brain imagery, visualization works because neurons in our brains, those electrically excitable cells that transmit information, interpret imagery as equivalent to a real-life action. When we visualize an act, the brain generates an impulse that tells our neurons to “perform” the movement. This creates a new neural pathway — clusters of cells in our brain that work together to create memories or learned behaviors.”

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