The end of the year has always been an interesting time for me. Like many people, I find myself looking at what was accomplished over the course of the past twelve months. This can be an emotionally charged experience – if everything was wonderful, you find yourself feeling really good; if things maybe weren’t so fantastic, then there you are, down in the dumps.
You can’t drive your car looking exclusively in the rear view window, and you can’t run your business that way either. If 2014 was good for you, take some time out of your schedule to celebrate – and make sure your team knows you appreciate how vital they were in making it happen. If things weren’t so great, give yourself a little time to grieve – and then it’s time for step two, which is all about making next year better.
The start of a new year is a great time to think through what you’d like to accomplish in the coming twelve months. What you really need here is concrete, objectively observable goals. Give yourself something to aim at: a target revenue, for example, or the number of new customers you’d like to attract to your business.
Some people like to set many small goals, while others prefer one big objective. Do whatever works for you. Ensure that your goals are realistic and achievable – while I’d love to work only 2 hours a week and make $20 million, that’s probably not going to happen!
Outline the steps it will take to make your goals happen. Then (and you knew I was going to work technology into this somehow!) pre-load your 2015 calendar with the tasks you need to be doing regularly to become more successful. If that means devoting more time to your marketing, put those hours in your calendar for an entire year. Those email reminders are hard to ignore! There are many great goal-tracking apps available to help you keep focused.
Where is your business going to be a year from now? You’re the only one who can answer that question. Build on what worked for you last year, and avoid the mistakes you know you made. If you have a bounce partner who can work through this process with you, great! Put it in writing, email it to yourself, and do whatever you need to do to turn wishes into goals, and goals into reality.