Before you look forward, it’s good to glance back
Wow. Can you believe 2018 is coming to an end so soon? It’s that time of year when most business owners and entrepreneurs start to reflect on the year that was and begin to work on a growth plan for 2019.
Before you start mapping out your goals and targets for next year, it’s worth taking some time to reflect on the year that was.
A word before you start reflecting… Honest reflection can be a little uncomfortable, especially if you feel that you’re not where you thought you’d be either in your business or personal life, the silver lining is that there’s so much to be learned from the challenges, hurdles and roadblocks you experienced this last year. Grab yourself a coffee, or a glass of wine, take a deep breath and reflect on how your year has gone. You might surprise yourself by how much you’ll learn.
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” ― Abraham Lincoln
Start by writing down the expectations and goals you had at the beginning of the year and then tick off what you achieved. Remember to write down any unplanned achievements, a win is a win, right? Even if it wasn’t in your plan, it’s still a step forward. You’ll be amazed to see what you achieved this year and how far you’ve come. Most of us fall into the trap of focusing on what we perceive to be our failings or on negative feedback, but it’s time to celebrate our achievements and wins FIRST.
It’s so important to boost our motivation and positive mindset if we are going to set ourselves up for success in 2019. It’s ok to pat yourself on the back and embrace those wins! Did you nail your branding this year? Did you gain a regular social media following? Did you win that new client, even when you thought you didn’t stand a chance? Did you expand enough to take on more staff and create new jobs? Celebrate all of the wins. You’ll see a pattern of where your strengths lie, and you can use these insights to launch and amplify your 2019 goals.
As for those expectations and goals that don’t have a big tick next to them, ask yourself why and spend some time identifying the roadblocks to success that you encountered. Don’t get stuck here – we don’t have time to wallow people! Once you’ve worked out where you got stuck, it’s time to work out how to get unstuck. If those goals and expectations are still relevant for 2019, then expand your goals to be a little more specific about overcoming those key obstacles.
Life isn’t all business, P&Ls and balance sheets. How you have grown as a person – in your career and in your personal life – creatively, in your relationships, with your health? What new skills did you acquire this year and what challenges did you dare to tackle? Did you break through your social anxiety to attend more networking events? How have your relationships gone this year – with those close to you and with yourself, have you made time for what’s important to YOU? Or maybe you’ve had a bad experience this year… look for the lesson that came with it and figure out how you might do things differently next time. All of these reflections will help you create your 2019 growth goals.
“Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.” ― Robert Schuller
Now that you’ve given yourself some time to reflect and work through what you achieved, what worked, what didn’t and how you want to grow, it’s time to create a 2019 plan!
Start your 2019 Success plan
Kick your plan off by asking yourself these questions:
This time next year… What will my business look like? Who will I be? What will I be doing? and Why are these important to me?
As you describe what will be, it’s important to also identify what needs to stop or be let go. Free yourself from the noise to focus on what’s important. When you’re clear on what you’re going to focus on, start drafting your plan.
Keep it achievable! Resist the temptation to put fifty goals on your list. The aim is to set yourself up for success, so identify three or four key business improvement goals and one or two personal growth goals. Make sure you have a mix of short term and long term goals. Ticking off the short-term goals gives you a sense of achievement and keeps you on track for the year. If you nail all of your goals by mid-year, you can create new, more ambitious goals!
Make it measurable. Vague goals have a higher rate of failure or falling off the radar. Put a number or target to your goals. Replace ‘Get more customers to sign up to my newsletter’ with ‘Grow online subscriptions by 40%.’
Push yourself. Most people prefer to keep snug and safe in comfort zones, especially when it comes to personal development. Push yourself with goals that are a little more ambitious than you’re comfortable with. The sense of achievement when you take on these goals and succeed will give you a real confidence boost. Remember, nothing fabulous happens inside a comfort zone!
“Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.” ― Tom Landry, Hall of Fame football coach
Start your 2019 success plan by reflecting on the year that was. Celebrate your achievements and recognise how they’ve impacted your career and your personal life. Be honest about your challenges and obstacles, but don’t dwell on them.
Work out what success means for 2019 and put together a handful of meaningful and challenging goals to get you there… and then… take ACTION.
If you’re ready to create your business or personal success plan, get in touch today! We’ll help you create your success plan, keep you accountable and be your support.
Make 2019 your best year yet with Capital Idea.