End of Year Traditions

Dyana Valentine

As you read this, I am on retreat in a secluded little town up the coast of California. I don’t have cell service or Internet (*gasp!*).

New Year Biz Traditions from Dyana Valentine on Vimeo.

This is required as part of a new business tradition I’m starting for myself this year.  (Big thanks to Velvette DeLaney for inspiring me to create a business retreat for myself.)

I realized as the holidays/new year approached that my anxiety started to creep up. ACK! went my brain. What are my 2011 goals? What has 2010 been all about? What remained undone? What’s getting rolled over and what projects need.to.die?

You might be getting tight in the chest just reading about my spin–breathe deeply and know that’s MY stuff. Leave it on the screen and just relax into this question: What do you do for your business at the end of the year?

  • Do you have year-end traditions?
  • Do you give yourself a reward for work well done? (Alisa Bonsignore does.)
  • Do you look back and catalog missteps and downfalls?
  • Analyze your New Years’ resolutions and see what got done and what didn’t?
  • Make a plan for the coming year?
  • Do you celebrate your clients with year-end gifts/correspondence?

I’m really curious about how (or if) you do any kind of regular process/ritual or if you are open to establishing a new tradition for you and your business. Please share your ideas in the comments below or come by my site and play with me there.

Very Happy New Year!

5 thoughts on “End of Year Traditions

  1. Alisa Bonsignore

    I had thought that I would use some portion of my vacation — a real vacation, the kind where I told clients that I’m Absolutely Not Available — to do some planning and reflecting. Instead, I’ve done nothing. No looking back, no looking ahead, just living in the moment and looking no further ahead than tomorrow’s weather forecast. I briefly felt guilty about that. Then I realized that I needed more Now and less Yesterday and Tomorrow clogging my brain. There will be plenty of time for that when I get back to the office.

    And our new year-end tradition (two years and counting) involves vacation. I’m telling you, there’s nothing better than ditching civilization during the holidays when most offices are closed and there’s nobody trying to drag you back to reality.

    1. Dyana Valentine

      three cheers to doing NOTHING (oh, except being present in the moment, which is HUGE. You get that, right?). I’m so inspired by your brief guilt. That is a skill–one to add to the training calendar. I spent time in Big Sur, in a mountain place, with no people, shooting stars and whale sightings daily. It was incredible and no, it didn’t involve me taking the box-of-work I packed in my car out. Truly luxurious and am finding that it was the best gift I could give myself and my business. Thanks for chiming in and being an excellent role model.

  2. heather parlato

    i hope you had a fantastic retreat, dyana! i have made an annual tradition of going on retreat, reading the previous year’s retreat notes about what i’d been doing & plans for the year, writing about how those have progressed or where they went, and using best progresses as things to build on in the coming year. i think it’s very useful to take time with the areas i considered less-than-great and figure out if i was just on the wrong path, made a mistake, or analyze the factors that went into how everything played out and learn from it. but if anything, i spend more time on what i accomplished and take time to feel good about it.

    i also create a client or partner gift that i send out as a way of saying thanks. i’m thinking maybe this year i’ll have some kind of party, but rather than compete with holiday stuff, make it mid-january as a kickoff to new goals and a great new year. something along those lines. it might be cool to plan sort of a group planning session of a few people who have done a retreat and want to share their ideas and get support and feedback on the next year’s plans.

    1. Dyana Valentine

      fantastic is the word, Heather. thank you for being awesome in general, and setting really great biz boundaries, specifically. i agree that setting it up as a commitment is key. it’d be super rare to just bolt, without notice and planning (for me). yippee to mining for the gold, not dwelling in the chaff–that’s advanced. ohhhh, juicy gathering idea! sounds meaningful, fun and would be an excellent communal gift. rock it out and report back!