Action – Reflection – Repeat


It’s that time of year again! The New Year is right around the corner. And you know what that means – making a new year’s resolution, right? You know the drill, resolutions to be healthier, happier, more successful, etc. All great ideas, but personally I take a different approach.

I used to make them too, until I realized…they don’t work. In fact, studies show that more than half the country begins the New Year with one or more resolutions, but only 8% are successful in keeping them. 

Like everyone else, I look forward to each New Year being healthier, happier and more successful, both personally and professionally. But what I’ve learned as an entrepreneur, there’s only one real “resolution” that works 100% of the time! No matter what dreams, aspirations or goals you have for the New Year, this simple 3-step formula works every time: Action-Reflection-Repeat.   


As business owners, it’s natural for us to look ahead and plan for the New Year. But for me, the process of Action-Reflection-Repeat is more than a New Year’s resolution; it’s a way of life. 


Action is the first and most important step, yet this is where many of us get stuck. Why? Because as entrepreneurs no one hands us a blueprint or a roadmap outlining the steps necessary to make our businesses work. That is totally up to us and only happens through action.

So why do we get stuck? Could it be because we think we have to make it happen all at once? Or because each step has to be perfectly in sync or we get paralyzed? Or maybe it’s because we aren’t certain which step to take next.  Sound familiar? As business owners, we’ve all been there. But what we know for certain: success lies in action.  So take the first step, no matter how small, and remember the words of Robert Collier, “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” Even one small step forward will take your further than doing nothing at all. It’s that simple.


While action gets us moving, it’s equally important to pause and reflect. For you see, life and business can only be understood backwards; but must be lived forwards.   As entrepreneurs we are always moving forward into the unknown.  It is only through reflection – looking back and assessing what worked, what didn’t – that we find our inspiration and next steps. One tool I’ve used for years is journaling. What started out as a young girl’s diary has evolved into a business plan for life. It’s a practice that continues to serve me well, both personally and professionally. 


So there you have it:  once you’ve gotten into the rhythm of action and reflection, repeat is the easiest step in this formula. Being an entrepreneur is like a dance. We do it because it’s exciting and fun and we love it, even in times of uncertainty. And perhaps it is that uncertainty that leads us all to make New Year’s resolutions in the first place. To look forward, make a plan, chart a course, and strive for new goals in the New Year. As entrepreneurs, we don’t limit ourselves to just one New Year’s resolution, because every day is a new day to make a plan, chart a course, and achieve greatness.