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It’s the end of the year. We feel the pressure to make our resolutions. What should we consider when drafting plans to grow ourselves and our business in the coming year? Math may or may not be your strong suit, but planning and success are measurable points upon an X and Y axis.
1. I didn’t have a plan and I didn’t reach my goals
I didn’t have a plan.
I was not able to achieve my goals.
This may or may not be the result of not having a plan. For the coming year we would have nothing to lose by drafting and implementing a plan. The bar was set low last year and we knocked it over. This year it’s time to give setting the bar a chance, unless we want to continue in mediocrity.
Did you have a plan but you just don’t want to admit that you failed? There is something to stating your goals aloud or at least in writing. If you want to increase your achievement potential you may find some value in our video on personal organization.
2. I didn’t have a plan and I reached my goals
I didn’t have a plan.
I was able to achieve my goals.
As noted before, perhaps you did have a plan but you didn’t want to state it for the record just in case you didn’t reach your marks. Many are afraid of failure, but it is also common to be afraid of success. Don’t allow yourself to fail in planning simply because you are afraid to fail. If you are experiencing fear of failure you may find some value in our fear mantra.
You can take a gamble on not having a plan and being able to reach your goals in the coming year. Or you can take the momentum you had from last year and improve that through composing and declaring your plans for the coming year.
3. I had a plan and I didn’t reach my goals
I had a plan.
I was not able to achieve my goals.
This may or may not have been the result of having a plan. Was the issue with the plan, the execution or a failure to adapt? Having a plan does not mean that we can guarantee our results. We like to practice rigid flexibility. We want to have a plan but we must be able to adapt as we receive new information or experience obstacles.
If you crave success you will need to prepare to succeed. If you want to take yourself to the next level in your personal and professional development, it’s time to make a plan for how you are going to use the hours that you have — make a plan for what you will do with the hours everyone else is wasting.
4. I had a plan and I reached my goals
I had a plan.
I was able to achieve my goals.
Take a little victory dance. You did it. You were intentional about your approach to last year. You were able to execute your plan, adapt in the face of obstacles and persevere to the end of the year. Now that you have tasted success, can you repeat it? It is likely that the same exact plan executed in the same exact way will not bring the same result. The only constant is that things are constantly changing.
The good news is that you now have a habit for success and you have tasted the glory of it. This should provide you with a template as well as the motivation to repeat your efforts from last year and carry them into the new one.
Whether you planned and/or succeeded, this is a new year and a fresh new opportunity to chase life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In drafting your plan, consider the following:
1. Is your vision clear for the coming year?
2. Are your goals rooted in your mission?
3. Are there habits that need to be eliminated?
4. Are there parts of your system that can be simplified?
5. Do you need to adjust your structure?
When we invest in creating an end of year plan, we help to clarify and solidify our vision. If vision is tied to reality than it should filter through our personal and organizational disciplines. Vision fuels our habits. Vision combined with goals will clarify our mission.
Whether we want to grow or not, growth is essential. Whether we think we need change or not, adaptation is the root of survival. Failure is not final and neither is success. Whether last year was one of achievement or disappointment this is a fresh new year and we can change things or build on our momentum through the simple act of planning.
Prepare yourself to succeed. Success tomorrow starts with making a plan today.
IZ Ventures - business coaching & consulting. We don’t just consult - we help you Connect, Collaborate & Conquer.
Winning habits aren't always the most complex. Enhance clarity to build consistency and establish accountability through the simple discipline of scheduling.
Scheduling is the process of having a plan, or at least attempting to tell you day how you think it should go. Writing down your goals is important to do on the macro level of having a life plan, on the annual level of mapping out your course and on the micro level of having a daily road map. There is something special that happens when we take the time to write things down, there is some connection between the engagement of the brain and the enabling of the will that is connected to committing something to your calendar. Read more on the stories of successful people who are in the habit of writing down their goals, HERE.
Scheduling yourself the day prior or early in the morning enables you to be ahead of your day before the chaos hits and the day takes on a mind of it’s own. If you don't schedule ahead, you will always be playing from behind. You never want to get behind, as we all know - that's where the farts are. Whether you schedule in blocks of time or are down to the minute, prioritization (more) starts with having a target. Real Estate mogul and Shark Tank star, Barbara Cocoran, swears by her daily to-do list which she hand writes every night, prioritizes with a simple rating system and emails to her personal assistant for accountability. In an interview with Inc. Magazine Barbara outlines her process, “I rate the items in order of importance: A, B, or C. The A's are where the gold is. These are the things that will move my business ahead and make me money. I find there are really only three to five A items on any given day, and I do those first.”
Goal setting is a muscle that must be worked out on the daily, it requires mental strength, it will test your will power and it is enhanced by accountability from others. Setting aside time in your day to prepare yourself can be as simple as the habit of writing down your schedule. Organization in this way becomes a powerful habit that will help you to make gains on the items that are important to you. Like budgeting for your finances, a good plan will assist you to spend your time (which is impossible to recoup) where it is needed rather than be in a vicious cycle of questioning where the time went at the end of your day. Making your schedule visible to yourself and your team members creates a level of accountability as well as demonstrates leadership by example (more).
Vince Lombardi has a great saying, “The will to win is not nearly so important as the will to prepare to win.” Who doesn’t want to win? Yet the thing that separates those who achieve success from those who talk about it is found in the preparation that winners put in. Those hours of discipline do not happen by accident, they come with a commitment to schedule in time for the things that are important, to prioritize and to persevere through the pain. Organization can be painful or just plain overlooked by many, but a successful system does not have to be complex to be effective.
In terms of property restoration every production manager knows that our schedules have to be constructed with a certain amount of flexibility in them for those inevitable calls for emergency services from water or fire related damages. Drafting a schedule the day prior and making the plan visible for the team (more) are key to communicating that leadership respects the team and is committed to helping them to be prepared for the upcoming needs of our clients. Scheduling is a core communication component that shows our employees we care about them and creates a visible game plan through which we are able to communicate effectively with our clients as well (more). The discipline of scheduling your self should carry into the care of scheduling the team and the courtesy of communicating those schedules to our clients.
The will to prepare to win starts with personal habits that translate into organizational systems that guide our core professional services. Being organized forces us to care about and budget our time. Scheduling generates habits that position us to pursue our goals with clarity, consistency and accountability. Simple things can be the difference between long term success (more) and cycles of chaos.
Organizational truth: Don’t get behind, that’s where the farts are.
More from Barbara Cocoran in her interview with Inc. Magazine, including video - https://www.inc.com/magazine/201704/anna-hensel/day-in-the-life-barbara-corcoran.html
My kids ask about the olden days, "You know, like back in the 1900's." There are moment as we laugh that we realize there are reference points and resources which they will have no frame work to comprehend. One such resource that we used in the days long before was the Thomas Guide, do you remember these? We tale for granted that you now can instantaneous directions that are interactive and will talk you through the intricacies of your journey. In the days before cell phones and data applications were a ubiquitous accessory, you used to have to sit down at your computer to print your directions from programs such as Mapquest. People complain that Siri get's them lost, those same people should force themselves to navigate with line item directions while traversing through rush hour traffic.
Prior to the Thomas Guide, there were maps. Maps were created as a by product of natural selection in an effort to thin the population either by getting them lost where they could not be found, distracted from driving or to tear families apart arguing over which minuscule turn off was the shortest route. Maps were sold in a compact folded form that you could never get them back into without tearing or throwing into the glove box in a condition twice the purchased size. Imagine driving with a fold out that could fill the drivers compartment trying to read size 6 font in the dark to reach your destination - it makes it rather comical that some crusaders believe cell phones are the first and/or only incarnation of distracted driving. Imagine family trips with no seat belts, no air conditioning and navigating from parchment paper.
Needless to say, when the Thomas Guide came out, the world of travel for business and for pleasure became so much more compact and concise. The Thomas Guide had a reference index, you would look up your street and be provided an page as well as index from which you could begin to construct your routes. As crazy as it sounds, in metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, California, with the Thomas Guide you could more readily re-navigate when there were traffic jams because you could focus in on the area you were headed to rather than having to mess with a the jumbled monstrosity of a large paper map. The world was still un-chartered waters but the Thomas Guide made you feel like you could master the seas, or at least not get so lost that you would be left to die in the expanse with your only friend being a volleyball.
Where are we going with this? First, I wanted to share a story about the Thomas Guide with you young-ins who have never heard of such a thing. Secondly, navigation is an essential component of exploration as it relates to achieving your personal and professional goals. Technology has advanced and you may be able to master the latest and greatest electronic gadgets but that doesn't mean you understand how to navigate your journey, connect with the best resources or conquer your ambitions. Mentorship is a catch phrase in the current economy and yet connecting the pieces is harder than it sounds even though we have so many collaboration opportunities. As discussed previously, discussion among peers can be a powerful resource (HERE), like a planned summer vacation the search for ideas and tips can start with sharing with others where you want to visit, what you hope to see as well as asking if others have been where you are trying to go. If you have been frustrated in your search for mentorship - 1) you are not alone, 2) don't give up as it is a worthwhile pursuit and 3) don't discount the network that you have that can help keep you accountable to your vision (The Power of Discussion). Another great place to start is Write It Down.
Let us know what you have learned about navigation and mentorship. Connect. Collaborate. Conquer.
Jon Isaacson / IZ Ventures - Creative business solutions. We help you connect, collaborate & conquer. #MTWSL
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