Once again here we are speeding through the second half of 2011 and thinking about those New Year’s resolutions we made again. Often companies use this time of year to give thousands of employees so-called “performance reviews”, and I’ll save my comments about performance reviews for another article.

Many of us have already prepared and implemented strategies, plans and budgets for our businesses in 2011, but have we honestly debriefed our personal performances in 2009 and 2010? I believe this is a good time to truthfully reflect and ask some difficult questions of ourselves.

Here’s a great list to help get your action plan for 2010 started. And remember – be brutally honest with yourself. Exactly like the game of golf, if you cheat, the only one you’ll be cheating is you.

1. What have I accomplished this year? Be specific. Write it all down and take some time to celebrate your accomplishments.

2. What have I learned this year? What skills have you added? What emotional lessons have you mastered?

3. What got in my way? This is where your work might be focused in the coming months. Don’t forget that many times we get in our own way.

4. Who contributed to my success? What can you do to recognize these folks and promote them to stay on board with you in the coming year?

5. What mistakes did I make, and what did I learn from them? Write these down too, and keep them close by to remind you of what NOT to do next year.

6. How was my work consistent with my values? The answer to this is very powerful and will make you think about the inconsistencies going forward.

7. Where did I not take responsibility? Now that these events are in the past, it’s easier to see where you’ve been out of integrity. A truly honest answer to this one will help bolster your courage.

8. How would I rate my performance? Give yourself an honest ranking between 1-10 with 10 being absolutely incredible.

9. What do I need to let go of? Doing so can help you move much more lightly into the new year.

10. What was missing for me this year? We’ve all missed out on something or traded for something else in 2009. How can we be assured to avoid missing out again?

If you use the answers to the questions on this list as a foundation for your 2010 action plan, I’m confident that you will be more focused, more effective and much more successful, according to your definition of success, in the next twelve months. Remember, you make the choices regarding your performance each and every day. You have three: You can improve your performance; stay the same; or get worse. So, what will you choose for 2010?

Brian Howe is a professionally-trained executive and business coach, writer and speaker, who owns ThinkTank Coaching. He is also a Certified Mediator, and holds the highest human resource certification, Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). He has worked with over 300 business owners and professionals, coaching and consulting with them on leadership development and other aspects related to people in business. He can be reached at (770) 922-6007 or via his website www.coachbrian.com