By Alexia Leachman, Personal Branding Coach at Blossoming Brands

As we approach the end of one year and the beginning of the next, we can’t help but think about how the last year has gone. Soon, both the TV and press will be full of “the best and worst moments of 2011” and as we are bombarded by these lists and reviews, we can’t help but reflect on our own lists of best and worst from our own lives;

- What were our best and worst moments of the year?

- What are our top 10 achievements of the year?

- Who were the significant people that came in or out of our life over the last twelve months?

- Did we do what we set out to do?

- Did the year go according to plan?

- What surprises did we encounter?

But why stop there? As we think back to where we were this time last year, what else was going through our minds?

- What hopes and dreams did we have for 2011?

- What goals did we set for ourselves?

- How did we get on with achieving them?

- How are we doing with our grand plan for our life?

- How is our professional life doing?

- Was 2011 as tough/awesome as we were expecting?

If, like me, you’re into all this goal setting malarkey, then these are all questions that might be buzzing around your mind. If they’re not, you might want to take some time to give them some thought. Why? Because they’re all relevant to your personal brand, and your answers to these questions will determine how strong and successful your personal brand, and therefore your reputation, is.

When we set out to do something, and then achieve it, we build our confidence. But sometimes, we pedal so fast that we forget to check how we’re doing. The scenery is just a blur and we forget to stop for a moment and appreciate the view. One of the pleasures of trekking up high mountains is the bit when you stop and take it all it.

When you take time to see how far you’ve come, you’re able to appreciate just how much you have achieved and this in turn will build your confidence. But it’s not just about confidence. Reviewing your successes has other benefits. Let me explain. It’s likely that over the next few weeks that you’ll be meeting lots of new people and reconnecting with old friends and colleagues. These are great opportunities for building and growing your network. And, when you introduce yourself, it would be both useful and interesting, not to mention relevant, to be able to articulate your highlights of the year in terms of your achievements and successes. There’s not really much point in reeling out that brilliant thing you did in 1997; the world has changed since then! People like new stuff and they want to know what you did recently. And, if you haven’t taken the time to think about what you’ve achieved over the last year, you’ll be stuck for ideas when asked. Or worse, you might mumble one or two off your list and then argue with yourself later when you realise that you left out the Big Juicy One. Ouch!

So how about you go and make yourself a hot drink and take some time to think about all that great stuff you’ve done this year. And read my next article: A Time For Planning.

Alexia Leachman is a Personal Brand Coach and Head Trash Liberator at Blossoming Brands. She helps entrepreneurs find their mojo by helping them to tell their story, raise their profile, build their digital presence and manage their reputation. You can find out more at www.blossomingbrands.com and www.headtrash.co.uk And you can follow her on Twitter at @AlexiaL and @BBrands

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