Companies should ask themselves 10 questions at the end of each year. Photo: Altayb/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Companies should ask themselves these 10 questions at the end of each year. (Photo: Altayb/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

The most successful people take time to assess how things are going and the end of a year is the perfect time for such an assessment. There are 10 big questions to be answered in this year-end assessment.

  1. Did you achieve your goals for the year?

Some of us are good at developing goals and reviewing these goals periodically, while others may need to establish this practice or recommit to it. Goals create the roadmap. Without a roadmap, we’re just driving around aimlessly.

Goals may be professional or personal in nature — or both.

  1. For goals that were achieved, why or how did that happen?

Achievement doesn’t happen all by itself. Did something cause the goal to be achieved? What was it? This is important to understand so whatever it was may be repeated. 

  1. Who needs to be thanked or rewarded for their involvement in goal achievement?

Goal achievement often was a result of a team effort or the support of people who deserve to be recognized. Take a minute and think about who these people are.

  1. How and when will this appreciation (thank you or reward) be delivered?

For each person who deserves to be recognized, make a decision about how your appreciation will be communicated and by when. Give yourself a deadline and make it happen.

  1. For those goals that were not achieved, why or how did that not happen?

It’s equally important to understand why goals were not achieved. What specific steps might you take next year, based on what you learned this year, to improve goal achievement?

  1. What was your most significant personal accomplishment of the year?

Of what accomplishment this year are you most proud? This may be something in your professional life or personal life — something unique to you or something you were a part of.

  1. What was your greatest personal disappointment of the year?

What didn’t go as planned? We only want to revisit the past briefly to learn and grow. Be careful not to spend too much time on this question.

  1. If you need to take action related to either your most significant personal accomplishment or your greatest personal disappointment, what action needs to be taken and by when?

Sometimes there is some unfinished business to deal with. Do you still need to frame the award? Do you still need to have a crucial conversation with someone? Give yourself a deadline and make it happen.

  1. What are your goals for next year?

While you may have goals for every category in your life (financial, health, professional development, relationships, etc.), it’s important to identify the most important goal(s). If there were only one big thing you could accomplish next year, what would it be?

  1. What do you need to put in place now so that you will be more likely to accomplish your goals next year?

Looking back on the year, and the questions above, what action steps do you need to take so that next year’s results will be better than this year’s results? What can you do to improve?

There is a discipline involved with setting goals, monitoring progress and assessing results. Some of us will need an accountability partner to help with this discipline and that’s OK. The important thing is to make this a habit.

It’s the year end. How did it go for you?

Now go forth.

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About the Author:

Phil Harwood is a Senior Advisor with Tamarisk Business Advisors. Contact him at

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