Happy New Year!
As we look to the New Year, there are lots of things to be thankful for. We can be thankful for the fact that we live in a land which is rarely plagued with natural disasters and have never experienced the kind of devastation that has happened in other weather or war-battered countries. Frigid temperatures and a few feet of snow look pretty good compared to what we’ve seen in photos from around the world. Regardless of any current discomfort we may be experiencing, when you put it into perspective, we are very fortunate.
Here’s a question for you to ponder as you consider your plans for 2016: Is your future smaller than or bigger than your past? When you look ahead, do you see bigger and better opportunities, or diminishing returns? Are you ramping up, or slowing down?
Regardless of your age or stage of life, it’s a sobering thought to consider. Even though I have the occasional grey hair, I’m confident that my future is bigger than my past. The opportunities are easier to recognize and take advantage of. The effort required to do what I did in the past is less so I can accomplish a lot more with the same amount of effort. If I put in 5% more effort this year compared to the last, the returns will be multiplied.
This is a great time to consider where you are, where you are going and how you’re going to get there. Forget about New Year’s Resolutions and go straight to setting some goals because goals expand your future. They expand your options and opportunities. When you are committed to them, they focus your energy into an unstoppable force.
Here are some questions to stimulate your thinking as you plan for the next 12 months:
- What are my business goals for the year? Remember to make them SMART goals.
- What do I have to do differently this year to reach those goals? Be specific. Remember that if you want different results, you have to have different inputs. If you want to make a chocolate cake rather than a vanilla one, you need different ingredients.
- What are the obstacles and what do I need to learn, practice and do to get around them?
- When I reach them, how will I reward myself?
- What personal victories do I want to achieve for the year?
- What are my goals for health and fitness?
- What are my family goals?
- What needs to happen in the next 12 months in order for me to be happy with my progress?
- What skills (sales, leadership, management etc.) do I need to focus on in order to make my goals easier to attain?
- What do I need to give up or abandon in order to have the mental energy and time to achieve the goals that are important to me?
If you haven’t already done so, you might also consider setting a Giving Goal to help those less fortunate than yourself. Sharing and altruistic acts have been proven to be one of the best ways to increase your own personal happiness.
2016 could well be your best year ever. Expect the best!
Happy New Year!