It’s the end of the year and the perfect time to take a moment and reflect on all that you accomplished last year. Evaluate what went well and what didn’t. This is the time of year to begin preparing for even greater success next year. Perhaps this year was good or perhaps it wasn’t. Now, is the time to gear up for more greatness in the New Year and make 2013 your best year (yet!).
If you have a business vision and strategic plan, pull them out and review them. Include your whole team. If you don’t have a team, then review them with your coach, friend, colleague or an accountability partner.
As you review the vision and the strategic plan, write down what you have accomplished this year. What went really well? Make your list; you can even check it twice!! Once you have created your accomplishment list, take a moment to celebrate all that you did well. Then move on and review where you fell short. What didn’t go quite right or well? Where did you fail? What are your disappointments? What did you start and not finish?
Taking time to evaluate the past year is a great way to learn from what went well, and what didn’t go well. In that learning there are valuable lessons that you can glean. List a couple of lessons for moving forward. Did you get off track, side-tracked by something? Did you not follow up with prospects? Each lesson gives you ideas for guidance into the New Year.
As you review the vision and the strategic plan, take some time to reflect on whether it is still on target. Is that vision still your vision or has it changed? Make the necessary updates to that vision. Many companies write short vision statements that barely communicate the overall vision. Put great detail in yours so that you can feel it as you read it. If your vision is to buy a new building for your company and increase your staffing by 50% then write a vision statement that includes that and describes that. You can always have the short and concise vision statement on your business plan, but for your use, make it a detailed story, that really motivates you and inspires you each time you read it. Did you read it regularly this year? If not, make that part of your practice in the upcoming year.
What is the vision for the upcoming year? Where do you see your company at the end of the year? What type of growth, new products, new clients, or customers? What does it all look like?
Once you have your vision story written you can then focus on the strategies to accomplish your vision. Your strategies should always be based on the overall vision. When strategies are written that stray from the vision and purpose of the organization then you are going down roads that lead you in the wrong direction. Your vision and values becomes your guide for making your business decisions. Stop yourself, when you are making a decision and pull out that vision statement, your values statement and review the decision or opportunity with them all in mind.
Strategies should point to the vision and be written in a way that they are measurable. A strategy to build the business is too vague. What does build the business mean, and how do you know if you have accomplished it? But a strategy to provide coaching services to 50 new clients is measurable. Or a strategy to increase product sales by 25% is measurable. Or to develop a new product; bring in a new product line; increase staff by 10; increase days off by 10; and the list can go on. The must do is making the goals SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant or reasonable and time specific.
Limit the number of strategic goals that you are working on so that your strategic plan remains focused and effective. A huge document becomes overwhelming and cumbersome and often just collects dust. A strategic plan should be a living, breathing document that you are very familiar with and guides our day to day activities because it is your focus.
Creating a new plan for the year is a great first step towards creating the success that you want. Working the plan and making it happen is the real key to producing the results that you want.
Working your plan just means keeping it in front of you, developing the smaller goals that move you towards the big goals and really staying focused. When something doesn’t work, it is not the time to abandon ship, but rather, the time to refocus, re-strategize and continue the work.
Take time before the New Year to: review and update your vision statement and story; review your accomplishments and failures for the year and glean the valuable lessons from them; review your strategic plan and update your goals for the upcoming year. Gear up for a focused and planned New Year that will ring in the next level of success for you and your company.
Once you have your plan then the essential key is implementation. This is where many fall short. They have great ideas, great plans and then fail to implement. There are good ways to follow through.
Break down your goals each month and week. Establish a system of accountability. Most people start out the year with a great plan and great strategy and as the year moves on, they lose focus and the plan drifts. A good coach provides you with the ongoing support and accountability to produce results.
Keeping ourselves accountable can be accomplished in a few ways. Here are our 11 tips for creating a focused and fun approach to success:
- Take the goal and break into smaller steps
- Make a chart to chart progress, each step of the way
- Hang signs around the house, in the car, at work — saying: “Stay Focused”.
- Tell family and friends about the goal and intention
- Create your own mastermind group to help you stay on track and support your ups and downs
- Partner with a friend or colleague to be an “accountability buddy”, share your plan with them and talk once a week or month to let them know how you are doing
- Hire a coach to help you identify your goals and keep them on track all year towards extraordinary success.
- Create celebrations of success, reward yourself — gold stars, dinner out, a new something!
- Meditate each day on focused goal attainment
- Write your goals down and read them everyday
- Have fun with each success and acknowledge it!
Spend some time creating your focused plan for success and give us a call if you need some help! Accomplishing the dreams, goals and things we desire is important for each individual and business. We look forward to hearing about your success.
One of my favorite tools to use in creating a plan for success is available for you at: www.bestyearplan.com