December is an exciting time of year: We are wrapping up our 2023 tasks and starting to make plans for January. But while we’re busy envisioning the future, it’s crucial to take some time to take stock of this past year so we can start the new year fresh—and with some clear takeaways.

This checklist has 10 discrete tasks that you can do in just a few hours each to finish off 2023 with a bang—and set yourself up for success in 2024. Not all tasks may apply to you—or maybe you’ve done some of them already—but even choosing just a few of these for your own end-of-year checklist can help you tie the year up with a bow and welcome 2024 with bells on.

  1. Pull three metrics to tell the story of 2023

Metrics are already a big part of community managers’ jobs, but for this exercise, we want you to think about the big picture. What are two-to-three big numbers that can tell the story of your community over the past year and set the stage for next year? Activations, unique visits, year-over-year growth, member posts—these are just some of the numbers that it might make sense to pull to help you share a snapshot of your community.

  1. Do a quick end-of-year member survey

Create a short survey with a few key questions to gather feedback from your community about their member experience. The lowest-lift way to do this would be to post a few questions in your community, but you could also create a form or send an email. Some questions you may want to include: Any memorable moments from the community? What do they like most about the community? What do they like least? What lessons Would they be interested in a quick conversation in the new year to share lessons learned or the most helpful piece of information they’ve gained from the community?

  1. Review your community guidelines, policies, and procedures

Conduct a high-level review of your community guidelines, policies, and procedures by reading through them. Is anything out of date or need immediate updating? Are there sections you should definitely add ASAP? Make yourself a list for updates to make in the new year.

  1. Conduct a high-level content audit

Set aside a few hours to review your community’s most important and frequently accessed content. If you can, fix any broken links, formatting issues, or outdated information you find. You can also make a punch list to tackle in January plus ideas to expand on your community strategy.

  1. Get an event teed up for 2024

January can feel ages away in December, and then all of the sudden, it’s here! Do you already have your first event of the new year on the calendar? If not, do yourself a favor and put it there now. First-week-of-January you will thank you.

  1. Thank your community champions

If there are users in your community that really make the place work, taking a moment to thank them can mean a great deal. It doesn’t have to be fancy—a personal message thanking your community champions for their time and effort this year and letting them know you see them and appreciate them can mean so much.

  1. Thank all of your users

The end of the year is also a great time to post a message in a public channel to thank everyone for being a part of the community and making it such a special place.

  1. Jot down a list of key takeaways from 2023

Before you shut your laptop for the year, take advantage of the deep dive you’ve just taken into your metrics, content, and community-building materials and write down top-of-mind thoughts about your community—what worked, what didn’t, what to lean into in 2024.

  1. Job down a list of your accomplishments in 2024

While you’re at it with all this reminiscing, make sure you make note of your own role! What have you accomplished in 2023? What are you most proud of? What could you have done better, and what might you do differently in 2024?

  1. Schedule your own downtime

If you haven’t already, make sure you give yourself some official time away from your community in the coming weeks. Especially in smaller organizations, it can be common for community managers to be checking in on their community even when they’re “off.” Talk with your team about making a schedule to be “on call” or let your community know that during a certain time frame, moderation and responses will take longer. If you have to check in, make sure you’re really only doing it as often as necessary.  Give yourself a break—you deserve it! Need some tips? CLI’s Adrian Speyer shared some great advice about how to set these boundaries in our Community Therapy podcast.

We hope this list inspires you to make your own end-of-year checklist, and we look forward to sharing more community-building content with you in the new year.