2018 is slowly coming to an end. And if your association wasn’t able to accomplish all that it wanted to this year, you don’t want the next year to turn out the same way.
For many associations, the end of the year is a perfect time to sit down and review the year you’ve just had. What were your pitfalls, your successes, and your mistakes that you’ve learned from? There’s a lot to reflect on in your past year, and you may be able to figure out what it is you want out of the upcoming year this way.
But while diving into 2019 may be exciting, it can also be extremely overwhelming. You want to make it your best year yet in terms of member satisfaction, revenue earned, new members welcomed, and so much more. Getting things right has probably never seemed more imperative!
So, if you want to get thing started on the right foot for the new year, you should start thinking about things ahead of time- and what better way to prepare than with some reflective questions.
Developing some food for thought before going into the new year can help your association’s team gear up for any goals and missions you want to tackle in the upcoming year. And there are a lot of questions you can ask, but allow us to give you a few that you can steal and make your own.
We’re supplying you with 5 questions to bring to the table when preparing your association for 2019. These questions will show you what’s important, what you’d like to achieve, and how you plan on doing just that.
Let’s dive right in.
1. How did you surprise yourself in 2018?
Your association works hard to reach its goals each year. But sometimes your team can really go above and beyond the call to score some serious achievements.
So, is there anything your association did in the past year that shocked even yourself? Were there times your team worked together to pull off something that almost felt impossible? Were your members just as surprised as you were?
Your association did some amazing things this past year, and you should always pat yourself on the back for any hard work. But although you have a ton of things to be proud of, you may have one or two things that shocked you to be able to have done- and it’s these things that can motivate you to do the same in the upcoming year.
Whether it’s reaching an insane revenue goal, pulling off your biggest event yet, or reaching member satisfaction rates like never before, figure out what achievements were your best work yet, and strive for that amount of success in the future year.
2. When did you feel your association was at its creative peak?
Whether you realize it or not, creativity plays a key role in many of the things your association does.
Between creating interesting content for members to engage with, brainstorming new themes and ideas for events, and developing promotional materials to attract more attention, the creative process of an association is a vital one. So, when did your association reach an all time creative high this year?
If you can pinpoint when your association was at its creative peak, you can start to figure out key points about your association’s creative style. For example, what things spark your creative urges? Are there certain projects where you feel more creative? How can you take those moments and stretch them out to bring more creativity into all that you do?
Finding your creative energy can show you how to hone more of it within the upcoming year.
3. Were there any moments where your association felt stuck?
Getting stuck in a rut can happen to the best of us. There are only so many moments where we can feel intuitive and at our peak, and sometimes you have to go through rough patches before getting back on your feet again.
While your association always wants to keep progressing, feeling complacent can often happen. It’s a scary experience, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn and grow from the fear of being stuck in one place.
Being stuck can mean a lot of things- but overall, it could mean your association needs a major change in the way it operates. So, if you want to avoid less pitfalls in the future, you should analyze and reflect on what you changed to get out of ruts in the past, and how those changes positively affected the way your association operates.
4. If anything, what became a distraction to you in the past year?
We want to do our best to keep our eyes on the prize and constantly keep moving towards success. But sometimes, things can get in the way of our productivity, throwing us off course and wasting our time (and money earning opportunities for your association).
If you can hone in on whatever was holding you back from achieving your peak in productivity, you can avoid falling into distraction traps in the future. But how do you know when you’ve fallen off of the tracks to productivity?
Analyze your work over the past year and see where you prove your value best. Did you have a month with peak member engagement? Did you create more content than ever during one period of the year? Was your content lacking in other places?
Analyzing where your peaks and valleys were can help you hone in on what could have been hindering your work.
5. What is one goal you’re looking to accomplish next year?
This question is an obvious one, but can often be overlooked by associations when moving forward into the year. If you go into 2019 without a plan, you may have a harder time getting things going.
For this question, you’ll want to sit down with your association’s team and figure out exactly what needs to be accomplished within the upcoming year. Depending on your association’s goals, this answer may vary.
It’s always a great idea to base your answer on data analysis. You should know where your association is already at in terms of member engagement, incoming revenue, retention rates, and everything else before coming up with goals for the new year.
There are so many questions your association can use to put the next year into perspective, but these 5 can give you a great base when diving into all the trials and tribulations of 2019.