The end of the year is a great time for reflection on past performance and for setting new goals. You may already be talking to your employees about setting their goals and setting some goals for yourself and your company. Goal-setting is important for professional growth, but it can be difficult to get started. An article from Fast Company gives six steps you and your employees can follow to perform an year-end self-evaluation and set goals for the new year.

 1- Do a brain dump of the year: Sit down and write a list of the major accomplishments and events from the year. Be sure to include important personal milestones as those impact your professional growth as well. Go through your calendar, meeting notes email, etc. to make sure you don’t miss anything.

2- Evaluate your performance: For each accomplishment, give yourself a rating. Although it can be difficult, try to be honest and fair as if you were critiquing the work for a peer rather than yourself. Use both qualitative and quantitative feedback.

3- Measure your results: When possible look for ways to assign numbers to what you have achieved.

4- Compare what you accomplished to your goals: If you wrote out goals for this year (which we hope you did), go back and look at those goals and see how they compare to what was actually achieved. It is ok if some of your goals are no longer relevant, or if you didn’t achieve everything. If you did, you were probably setting the bar too low anyway.

5- Get input from others: Once you have all of your data, bring that to 3-5 individuals you respect in your organization and get their input. You may be judging yourself too harshly or you may have missed something. Try hard to take their feedback and look for common themes to find areas for improvement.

6- Set a plan for the next year: Think of ways you can improve your weaknesses and maximize your strengths. Be sure to save room to do those things that bring you the most fulfillment. Write down your goals and keep track as you accomplish milestones throughout the year.

Self-evaluation is important for all employees in all levels in your company, including your leaders. Why not start a new tradition this year of having everyone conduct a year-end review of their work as a way to start the new year on the right foot?