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The Right Way To Review 2016 (And no. I won't ask you to describe your year in one word)

When someone says describe 2016 in one word, the only right response is: “Lol. Shut up.”

I mean… Think about it… what good comes from this?

“New Beginnings!”



That’s deep! Maybe you should tattoo it on your forehead or something?

No, it’s a big waste of time. And if you see someone telling you to describe it in 3 words, it’s 3 times the waste of time.

So, here’s how I review my year. The right way.

Step 1: What Went Well?

Whether you write it down, or just think about it in your head, you need to ask yourself, “What went well?”

It might be tough to remember everything. Especially if you’re not a detailed note-taker… you know… like most human beings.

So, what I like to do is think about things by month. “What did I do in January? What went well? What did I do in February? What went well?”

What’s important about this exercise is this: don’t just think about huge successes. Think about the little successes, too.

Maybe you went to an event you never went to before… and met a new friend.

Maybe you wrote a blog post you never wrote before… and people loved it.

Maybe you did your first sales call and CLOSED THE SALE.

Maybe you read a book for the first time in a while, and got a ton of new ideas.

Whatever the case, think about the wins. Big wins. And little wins.

Then, move to step 2…

Step 2: Can I Do It Again?

At this point, many will think it’s natural to think about “What went well.” And follow up with “What went wrong?”

But I don’t want you to focus on the negative stuff right now. Instead, I want you to think about what went well…

…and I want you to ask yourself, “Can I do it again?”

Back when I started Social Triggers, I did these weird little “Site review” videos of popular blogs.

(You might have seen them. Here’s one I did with Pat Flynn, as an example).

They went real well. I noticed it, almost immediately. And then, I went on to do 20 more of them.

This is important.

You see, everyone always thinks about what went well, and moves directly to what went wrong.

This is dumb.

Instead, I always tell people to think about what went well. And then ask yourself if you can do it over and over and over again.

Because if it went well once…

…it can go well again.

So, here’s what I want you to do:

Today I want you to take some time to think about what went well this year.

And then I want you to think about whether or not you can do it again.

Even better?

I want you to leave a comment on this blog post right here. Write the comment like this:

Hi, I’m Name. And I run a business that [insert business].

What Went Well:

Insert What Went Well

Can I Do It Again?

Yes, I can. And here’s how I plan to do it.

So, leave a comment now.

Or, if you’re not ready to commit yet (and want to do it later), for right now, you can just reshare this article…

…because if I see one more person say something like, “Describe your year in one word,” I’ll cut my internet connection for good.

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38 comments Leave a comment

Love it! Thanks for the great post Derek! My favorite part “ask yourself if you can do it over and over and over again.” Yes, I can do it over and over again. Front loading the work is key so I can get the results and have it work for me. I really need to focus on that in 2017!


Could someone please advise me how to add a visitor comment in WordPress 2016 theme. I can never get this straight. I need the text box with two fields.


    Hi George, the comment section should be turned on by default, i.e. if you have installed a default theme from WordPress, there is usually a sample comment shown under a sample post.

    You can go to the sidebar and find Setting > Discussion > to set your comment preference.

    To “style” it, it depends on what your theme can do. Most themes has this “theme option” or dashboard where you can customise it further.

    Hope this helps!


      Great hints, thanks Hazel, that was very helpful.


    I guess, I am not the only one who doesn’t know. Most people don’t know.


Hi, I’m Sherry. Throughout the last 9 years I have created a business that teaches how to be “Hands Free at Your PC”
• It serves people whose ability to keep a job or move up into a new job has been compromised… their ability to be productive at their computer has been impacted by accident or a health challenge. Or maybe the skills in typing fast enough was just never there… 4 weeks and that is changed! 100 words per minute in under 4 weeks. 80% Hands Free in 6 weeks!

What Went Well:
My one-on-one teaching platform had to change because my time was booked to making appointments 3 months out!

• Because of accidents or illnesses people needed to be Hands Free NOW so they ccould keep working and making a living!

• I could actually guarantee they would be 100 plus words per minute within 4 weeks.

• They could be 80% Hands Free within 6 weeks. No more need for their mouse or keyboard.

• I had as many as 6 people referred into my training by the same person.

Can I Do It Again?

Yes, I can do it again. And here’s how I plan to do it.

• I am expanding the reach with online and group training options.

• I am extending my reach from just Local to all of the USA and then to Canada.

• Instead of having to travel and show up for face-to-face training, folks will be able to work on their training any day, any time… whenever their pain level allows or their schedule allows. In fact they can even work from a hospital bed.

• I am building relationships with referral sources by contacting Certified Rehabilitation Counselors in private and government agencies, Injured Worker Counselors and attorneys, Human Resources Departments, Physical Therapists, Doctors specializing in Hand injuries…

• And then there are those that want to AVOID creating carpal tunnel disease or the stress of sitting all day… They would love to Work Standing, Walking, Sitting, Lying Down!

•How Many People Do You Know that could Benefit from Being “Hands Free at Their PC”


    Wow Sherry, that’s an amazing sounding service!!

    I have the beginnings of carpel tunnel AND need to keep my legs elevated. Have recently been trying to work out how on earth I can keep working and sit in an office chair. Not happening! I will be checking out your site, thank you very much 🙂


      Pixie, I am sorry to hear you have need of my services! I don’t really have any kind of sales page because all of my people have come into class via referrals.

      This was a “chance” encounter that I posted here. It just sounded like a great thought exercise and I did get a lot of good focus out of doing it.

      I would love to chat with you to let you know what it takes to learn Dragon. If you look at it like a foreign language, you will understand that it is work to be Hands Free.

      We can do what I call an Assessment, where we talk about What equipment and software is needed and What you can expect and When. We will talk about How much work it will take and the frustrations and the incredible rewards that being Hands Free gives you… {For one thing you can wash dishes and even hammer nails while you “type”! :-}

      Feel free to email me at SteppingStonesTo@gmail.com.
      Put something in the subject line like: “Met you on your Hands Free Post on SocialTriggers.com.”

      Thanks, Sherry

      Our classes are at http://www.SteppingStonesTo.com.
      Minimal to checkout because it is mostly for our students to sign in. And there is an intro to why I do this.


I am setting up a new system and tool.
This is why, what and how:

This year I have read three most important books and a couple of newsletters, of which Derek´s is one of the most valuable for me.
The first book was about the new physics and the implications for our lives.
The second about business mindset and general strategies for professional and private success.
Both books and Dereks Newsletter are complementary perfectly.
They led me to the idea for my new content focus and product.

I run a music agency especially for restaurants, and hotel restaurants.

The problem was, that many of my customers had difficulties to make the best marketing and PR impact out of their shows and concerts.
So I began to think deeply about how I could help them besides of the many best practice tips I provide.

I saw that the problem goes much deeper and the solution is not only to give more and more tips and how-tos.

I started writing about the backgrounds on my blog.

In addition, I learned more about story telling.
First I did this because story telling is a great way of content marketing and I wanted to know more about it in business context for my own marketing as well as for that of my customers.

I love stories.
I thought storytelling is perfect for AIDA and that all great marketers, teachers and leaders have always done it.

That was true.
But two another things about it are also true and they are much more important.
I can’t say, why I discovered this so late.
Maybe I knew it all the time deep inside me but not on the surface of my consciousness.

These things are:
1) everything you do, which is experienceable of your business in any way, is storytelling or story doing.
2) Storytelling is not only the best way of content marketing.
It is the most effective way of finding and defining your vision, goal, purpose, USP, customer avatar and his true needs.
It is also the best way of finding your ideal partners, employees and suppliers.

My new system and tool:

What I do now is putting all this into one system and make a tool out of it.

It is a huge amount of work, but it makes me really happy because I know that it will be extremely helpful for everybody who wants a strong basic for his business and an easy to use guideline for all his activities.

It will be very general for every business in the beginning.
By using it, it will become extremely individual and will be the most personal business planner.

Although the tool is far from being completed jet, my expert’s assessment on these things has grown immensely over the past twelve months and I am in contact with very interesting people with glorious ideas.
This is a very valuable gain much more important than instant money.

Oh, yes, you might have guessed:
The third important book I read was about business storytelling.

Can I do it again?
I´ll keep going until it is finished.
Then it will be tested, improved and sold.

It is already the best investment I have ever done for my self improvement.
I am confident that it will earn money as well.


Hi Moses here. I just started an online business in September 2016, something I’ve been trying to do for so long. I even created my own first website (www.jobpointpng.com) without any coding skills.

I call this year 2016, my year of learning new skills to grow my business. My business is focused on job posting, recruiting and HR solutions for small business in my area (Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea). I’d love to start earning next year 2017 and grow my business.


Hi, I’m Hazel. And I design conversion-focused websites and landing pages to help professionals get more leads and customers online.

What Went Well:

I have been thinking of quitting my job to become a digital nomad for years and I finally did it this year! I saved up, paid off my debt, worked as a freelancer, quitted my job, travelled a few countries and now working from the road since July.

Can I Do It Again?

Yes. When I set this goal in 2015 I told myself to give it a try for 6 months. See if “digital nomad” is really my thing and if things don’t go well (broke, lonely, or whatever emergency reason) I would simply go back home and find another job. Now it’s near to the end of the 6 months, I am not broke, I made some money along the way, and I feel excited every time to think about the freedom and opportunities that I will have after embracing this lifestyle. So I am planning to travel to Europe for 6 months or more next year (from March onwards). It’s going to stretch my comfort zone one more time because I will be leaving Asia continent. It also stretches my wallet haha so I have to upgrade my service and business.


    Hello Hazel..

    That’s pretty impressive and inspirational cuz I’m almost in the same phase.

    How can I contact you?!

    Keep me posted.




      Thanks for the info.

      See you on Facebook/LinkedIn


What went well this year? Well, I became a father, which is awesome! I probably won’t repeat that any time soon, though.

I’ve been working on a few different business ideas, one with a partner. The partnership isn’t going great, but I’ve been researching promotion, experimenting with my own ideas and guest posting on occasion.

Can I repeat my progress with online business? Yes, with some changes – more focus on promotion than constantly generating new content on an “island” site. I also need to focus on an effective sales funnel.

The ultimate goal? Quit my “day” job, outsource some of the menial tasks to a VA and spend more time with my family.

I noticed that you gave an example in your “step 2” but you’ve still yet to share what went well for you that you plan on repeating in 2017. 😀 Sneaky Derek.


Not ready to share my success, just clicked through to share on Facebook & say – best year in review email I have ever got!


Hi, I’m Kris, and I started a fitness blog in 2016, Weekend Warrior Zone.

What Went Well:

1) I got 3 guest posts published, on good blogs (not just content farms)
2) I created 7 really good posts of my own
3) I have a good foundation built

Can I Do It Again?

Yes, I can. To do it I plan on working 1 hour a day on my blog. When I do that for a few weeks, I start creating some momentum. Then I don’t see tangible results, and I stop. So of course I don’t have a breakthrough. If I can do this every day, just 1 hour per day (I still have a day job…) then eventually I’ll get to 100 subscribers, then 1,000, then I’ll start making a little money, then a little more. And before long I’ll have a real business, one I can be proud of!

Thanks for the little push!


    Hey Kris, if you have some budget to put aside and serious about growing your blog audience, I highly recommend Derek’s Blog That Converts! I believe it’s closed now but if he is ever relaunch the course again, you might really want to check it out.


      Hazel, thanks!


Hi, I’m known as Pixie Forest on the ‘net, and I run a couple of websites devoted to organic and natural, health and healing.

What Went Well:
This year I got my first few dozen subscribers with awesome lead magnets. I’ve found that a physical freebie is GOLD! (I’m talking about over 44% sign up!!) However, at the moment, it’s unsustainable, so I’ve reverted back to digital freebies for now.

I also got my foot in the door on a couple of huge sites with articles. I also positioned myself as an ‘expert author’ on a huge health site!

Can I Do It Again?
Duh, of course! I’ve already inserted a lead magnet on the detox site that I plan to leave there for a full year, now I’ve stopped messing around with it. I plan to keep authoring ebooks and courses, and building my subscriber list with those. I think more guest writing is in order for the back linking opps. I’m also going to put a lot more articles on my expert author page.

Have a fab year! 🙂


    Well done on that! I checked out your website and I think you can optimise it more with Derek’s tips here: socialtriggers.com/email-signup-forms-build-list/


Hi, I’m Leslie, and I run the site A Year of Happy for working moms workin’ a happy lifestyle.

What Went Well: I launched my site and got my first 170 subscribers, contributed to large sites and got a great response (and saw my writing improve dramatically), and spoke up more in the groups I’m in or by leaving comments.

Can I Do It Again? YES! Now that I know the sites that have had the best response to my work, I can focus on creating even better content for them, building my audience, and deepening my relationships.

Such a great way to review 2016 and set intentions for the new year. Thanks Derek!


HI, I run a business helping real estate agents and home sellers get better pictures for listings; which brings more

What went well:
1) I actually got the website up and running
2) I got huge exposure on Houzz.com
3) I landed several consulting/decorate to sell jobs

Can I do it again? Yes, but better. I’m writing/creating a course now, to sell to real estate agents and home sellers. I can create it one time and sell it over and over again. Pictures, video but simple.

Any suggestions? I’m all ears.


btw, I cannot only do it again this year, I can do it better now. Yes sir!

And hopefully http://www.therxfactor.net based in Spain, will be in the US Market pretty soon. So hopefully, we´ll interact in the near future and exchange more joyous times. That´s one of my commitments. <3


Hi Derek & everybody here 🙂

One word for the year: actually 2 😉 : ABSOLUTE TRAUMA

What went well or actually learned from it:

1) my power of resilience

2) my blind confidence in “ALL THAT IS”

3) that there is absolutely nothing else beyond FORGIVENESS, not even LOVE…A hard lesson 🙂


My new creation and great pride, my company listed above. What I am doing is my passion and throughtout this year working became my true medicine. So, I worked A LOT 😉

Thanks for all your great work Derek, for your nice messages along this year and for creating this space where you can meet and chat, like now…

Hope you have a luminous and loving Christmas time!!!

P & L, Maria-.


I can never get anything correct when it comes to my website, no traffic, no conversion. Thanks.


    Hey George, what are you offering on your website? If you think that you have not done anything correct to make it works, what about evaluating what you have done wrong and improve them to get traffic and conversion? Everyday is a new chance to start! Don’t give up.


    You mean for now (only) right, George …? Future is probably bright. Hug


Hi, I am Hart.

I run a feelancing business as agility coach, helping organizations to grow on many levels (customer satisfaction, productivity, profit margin, market share and all this with less stress and more employee happiness).

What went well: In 2016 I started to attract more clients than I can serve (Derek, your YES ENGINES course surely has it’s share there, many thanks again).

Can I do it again?

Yes, I can. Actually, the customer interest is still growing.

Therefore, I am working on a scalable business model so that more customers can benefit from my services so that I am seeing even more smiling faces.

Mr. J

Hi, I’m Mahlena! And I run a business that shows ESL and International Students applying to graduate school and business school How to Increase Your GRE Verbal Score.

What Went Well:
I gained more traffic to my websites, more followers on Twitter, and more private consulting clients.

Can I Do It Again?
Yes, I can. And here’s how I plan to do it.
1. Reach out to bloggers and podcasters in admissions, test prep, and higher education to write guest posts and appear on their podcasts.
2. Continue generating consistent, valuable content on my social media platforms.
3. Complete and promote my mini-course, Write Your GRE Essay in 30 minutes or Less, to the people who need it.

Thanks, Derek!


hey I’m Talia, and I run a blog called Workweek Lunch that helps busy professionals master meal prep for the work week.

What Went Well: I started my blog, kept it running while also having a full time job and actually got way more people to subscribe than I expected… without any guest posts.

Can I do it again? Absolutely. But in 2017 I’m taking that next step and building credibility in my space by focusing on landing guest posts.


Hi, I’m Ken Wallace, and I run a business that helps entrepreneurs join a mastermind group.

What Went Well:
In addition to creating over 90 groups this year, this year I helped nearly 40 entrepreneurs join a new mastermind group when their existing mastermind group had fizzled out. It was kind of manual and frustrating at times, but I got it done and the majority of the people I helped were extremely appreciative. Along the way I also helped mastermind groups who were looking for an additional member or two find new members that were a good fit for their existing group.

Can I Do It Again?
Yes, I can. And here’s how I plan to do it: I’m launching a more robust software platform to help even more entrepreneurs reshuffle their mastermind group commitment, by allowing them to quickly find a new group, or help existing groups find a member when theirs has a vacancy.


    Pretty interesting on what you’re doing there Ken! I would love to hear more.


Hi, I’m Karen. I write a food blog over at http://thefoodcharlatan.com/

What went well:

In 2016 I hired a VA. I worked less and earned more.

In 2017 I plan to master creating recipe videos for Facebook to increase traffic and income.

There, it’s in writing now. Thanks Derek!

Johnson Emmanuel

Hey! Johnson here. I run http://www.clientsattraction.com

1: Facebook ads went well for me
2: Blog commenting worked extremely well as I generated clients

3: podcasts interviews worked well as I got huge visibility and high paying clients

4: Facebook groups worked for me as I got a few clients from there

5: marketing funnels worked well for me also as it was the pipeline that drove in all the clients

Can I repeat them?

Sure and faster this time.

Derek, you the man!

Sandy Nayak

Bought sales page that converts this is my best decision yet in 2016 and looking forward for a rocking 2017

    Derek Halpern



Why are you asking


    Because he cares? Haha.

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