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Add a Little “Wonder” to Your End-of-Year Checklist: 3 Questions to Consider

As the year winds down, you’re likely working through a flurry of year-end tasks for your business. But before you say 'bah humbug' to another 'to-do', let me share one activity that is worth doing. And you might actually enjoy it.

“I Like, I Wish, I Wonder” is a feedback tool adapted from the Stanford and it can be used in a variety of contexts. “I like” focuses on what went well. “I wish” captures areas for improvement. And “I wonder” encourages exploration of new ideas. The framework is positive, constructive, and forward-thinking, making it well-suited to year-end reflection and planning for both individuals and teams. 

To get started, set up a way to capture your thoughts. You can use a whiteboard or a wall with Post-it notes. Or you can use online brainstorming tools like Miro or Mural. You can also use pen and paper or word-processing software, but they might feel too constraining for this exercise. In your chosen medium, create 3 columns with the following titles: “I Like”, “I Wish”, “I Wonder”. Then, on your own (or with your team), reflect on the following questions:

  • What do I like about this past year?

  • What do I wish could be done differently or improved next year?

  • What do I wonder about and want to explore further?

👍What I like is…

Start with what went well this year. Did you achieve a major milestone? Did you gain a new skill? Did you expand your team? Think broadly about what you liked about the year. Consider both what you achieved (e.g., met a revenue goal) as well as how you achieved it (e.g., improved teamwork). 

Example: What I liked about this year was how our team really came together to deliver a winning proposal. As a result, we gained a major new client.  

🙏What I wish is…

Now reflect on what you would like to change. What do you wish had gone differently? What gaps in your skills or knowledge would you like to address?  What does your team need to get better at? Be specific and constructive in your assessment. 

Example: What I wish is that we had a more effective communication process to ensure everyone is on the same page. 

🤔What I wonder is…

This is your opportunity to think creatively about your business. What new ideas have you been mulling over? What additional skills or expertise might take you and your business to the next level? What new technologies might you think about adopting?

Example: I wonder how we could use technology to provide a more personalized experience for our clients.

After populating each column, step away and come back to it a bit later. When you do, don’t worry about going in a particular order. Take each new thought as it comes and add it to the appropriate column.

Bringing It All Together

Once you’ve completed your reflection, capture what you created: take a photo of your whiteboard; save a copy of your online creation. Then, review your columns and identify the items that will be most impactful to the success of your business in the coming year. Pare down those items even further by asking: 

“If I could only focus on 3 things this year, which ones would contribute the most to the success of my business?” 

Picking just a few items to work on will increase your ability to focus and make progress. Once you tackle them, you can refer back to your list and identify additional areas you would like to address.

By using the 'I Like, I Wish, I Wonder' framework, not only do you evaluate the past year with a growth mindset, but you also foster a culture of continual improvement. Cheers to a new year of possibilities and growth! 🥂🥳

Ready to kickstart your year?🚀Subscribe for more insights, ideas and information you can use in your business.

(Pinkerton Coaching specializes in small business coaching, helping business owners take the next step in their development and success.)

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