The end of the year is a great time to reflect on your career development because it encourages mindfulness and accountability. Here’s how to do that, and some ways to turn 2016 into a year of career success.

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The holidays and year’s end are quickly approaching! With events and parties galore, this time of year tends to quickly pass by. With this in mind, I urge you to take a little time out from the holiday cheer and take stock of your career progress in 2015. Also, start thinking about what you’d like to achieve and improve upon in 2016.

I know this is a lot to consider during the busy season, when we’d rather be sipping hot chocolate and shopping for presents! To help you start, here is a list of questions for your reflection.

What were your 2015 goals? January is generally touted as the month for setting new goals. Before it rolls around, though, take yourself back to the goals you set last January. Do you remember what they were? Did you meet them? Why did you set these specific goals? If you didn’t set goals, start thinking about what you’d like to achieve in 2016.

Are your daily habits helping or hurting your progress? Are you often a little late to work, giving you a sense of panic the entire morning? Do you stay up way past your ideal bedtime, making you groggy during meetings? Are your eating habits draining your energy by early afternoon? Think about the seemingly little actions you take every day — and whether they’re helping or hurting your career and daily life.

Are there areas in your career where you can be more productive or effective? No time to work on those goals you’re setting? Think about all of your daily duties. Can any of them be streamlined or tweaked for better results? This is a great way to bring efficiency and extra time to your day, plus help you stand out among co-workers.

Who can support you? I’m a big advocate for seeking out mentors in your career, someone out there who has already reached the goal you’re trying to achieve. Getting that person’s insight and support can help you reach goals faster, open the door to new opportunities and connections, and more. If you only set one goal for 2016, I’d recommend it be this: Seek out a mentor.

Spending an hour or two to reflect on how the year went encourages mindfulness and accountability in your career development. If you’re unhappy with your progress, the new year is an intuitive time to hit the reset button. And if you’ve reached new milestones, give yourself an extra reason to celebrate this holiday season!

Lisa Quast is the founder of Career Woman, Inc., and the author of the book Secrets of a Hiring Manager Turned Career Coach. Email her at