Are you where you want to be? It is not too early to start planning for success
It is not to early to start planning for the upcoming year. But this time, let’s not repeat the mistakes of the past. Let’s admit it, we always start off with a bang in building our business, then we get distracted, slow down, get too busy or even get lazy. To keep on track with building your business you need to do a couple things to keep the momentum throughout the year. Please note, we do this at year end for the upcoming year, but really we could do this at any time we feel we need to evaluate where we are and where we need to improve. Here are ten steps to help get you on your way.
First, you need to take a hard look at the past year and evaluate every aspect of your business in what worked and what did not. Take some time to evaluate all of your marketing strategies, employee accomplishments and accountability, in all areas of your professional and personal life.
Secondly, you need to set goals for the upcoming year. If you don’t have clearly defined goals that are attainable you will be running in the dark. Think of it this way, when you go on trip, you have a set time to leave and return and you a certain amount of things to accomplish while on your trip. You plan your route, your activities and directions in a timely manner. A roadmap with clear, defined priorities motivates you to accomplish what is important to you.
There are 10 rules to planning YOUR year:
- First, the goal has to be something you HAVE to have! There are many things we should do, but until it becomes absolutely necessary, we frequently allow other things to take the forefront. We have to decide now what is critical and what is secondary and then stick to it. If the goal is I have to have new customers, that is a viable goal. This is not “I would like to have new customers,” but “I HAVE to have new customers to grow.”
Goals should be achievable. You are going to have two kinds of goals; short-term goals and long term goals. Goals should not be just a dream to get to think about someday. It could be nice to say, “I want to be rich” but if you are only making minimum wage, consider something like “I need to make 20% more income next year. If this is the goal, then we need to plan for it. For example, if you are making $20 per hour, wouldn’t it reasonable that you could do something in addition that would generate $4 per hour or the equivalent over the course of the year?
Consider this strategy over five years:
Year Pay Per Hour Annual Pay 20% Increase Annual Pay
Year 1 $20 $41,600 $24 $49,920
Year 2 $24 $49,920 $29 $59,904
Year 3 $29 $59,904 $35 $71,885
Year 4 $35 $71,885 $41 $86,262
Year 5 $41 $86,262 $50 $103,514
2. Taking classes to become more valuable would be a good start. Consider getting a promotion or a better paying job or taking on a part-time job or side business should allow you to accomplish with the right roadmap and continually working toward results.
3. Goals need deadlines. This is very easy to say, but often we make things so big in our minds that we tend to run out of steam at the first signs of a challenge. In the example above, if we are making $20 per hour and the goal this year is to make 20% more, we need to chunk down our goal into actionable, attainable steps that will get your there. These need to be measurable so you know when each step is completed.
4. Write your goals down with in-depth detail. A Harvard University study once concluded you were between 7 and 10 more likely to attain your goals if you actually wrote them down and reviewed them on a regular basis. If it is good enough for Harvard University, it is good enough for you and me. Be clear and not vague. Instead of saying “I want to make more money this year,” say, “I want to make $20,000 more this year than I did last year.”
5. Write your goals in a positive way. For instance, don’t say, “I want to get out of debt,” say “I have to achieve better positive cash flow.”
6. Write your goals in active tense. Use action words in your goals to say what it is you want to achieve.
7. Define why you want to achieve the goal. This is actually the most important step in the process. If you have a “Why” that is big enough, nothing will stop you.
8. Define how you will achieve it. You need to have some idea as to what you need to do. For example, if you know that it takes 25 phone calls to get 3 new clients and the goal is getting 12 new clients each month, you will need to make an extra 100 calls per month or an extra 25 calls per week on top of what you are currently doing. This sounds like a lot, but really, if you have a 5-day workweek, this is only 5 extra calls per day and is easily manageable.
9. Invest in yourself. Taking classes to become more valuable would be a good start. Consider getting a promotion or a better paying job or taking on a part-time job or side business should allow you to accomplish with the right roadmap and continually working toward results.
10. Believe in yourself and believe you can do this. There are countless examples of people who started with nothing, had all the odds stacked against them, yet they saw beyond their current circumstances and ended up successful. Not listening to doubters or negative people goes a long way here. When people start talking down your dreams, just disengage or disassociate if you have to. The Wright Brothers had many naysayers, but they pushed on and became a giant in early aviation. If they could do it, you can too.
We can choose to be successful by deciding what we want and define a clear road map on how to achieve then take it step by step to get to your goal. Stay focused and don’t give up. If one way doesn’t work try something else. You are the key to your success, be positive, set goals, ask for help when needed and create a step by step plan to get where you want to be and take action. Add to your goals one last thing a reward goal to give yourself and or your family is you achieve your goals for the year. Make it fun and be positive.