“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” Henry Ford
The Christmas holidays are literally just around the corner… just a couple of weeks and we will be able to relax at the beach with friends and family, enjoy the sunshine, over indulge and take time out from work. Like most business owners, you are probably hanging out for that down time and like most business owners, it will be a well-deserved break.
Now it may be a legacy of ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ but as a business owner and business leader, I am always excited about the opportunity that presents itself in the New Year. It is like you give yourself permission to think afresh about life, business, family and your choices. You feel invigorated at new possibilities. But stop!! Take the break first – it is imperative that you rest, recuperate, re-energise and focus on ‘life outside your business.’
Then, when New Year’s Day has been and gone and you mentally prepare yourself for 2018 – have a go at this little exercise to set you up for success:
- Experience Gratitude
Ask yourself what are you grateful for? Too often we focus on what is wrong in our days and ignore the wonderful things that are happening around us. It may be that you are grateful for spending time with friends and family; it may be listening to the sea crashing on the beach or the Tui’s singing in the morning… whatever it is, start by thinking of 10 things you are grateful for and write them down.
- Stop, Start, Continue
Ask yourself what you want to stop doing, start doing and continue doing on a personal level and be specific as to why. For example, I may write:
Stop swearing [these are purely examples 😊 ], because it is not good for the children to hear and I am sure that I can find other words to express how I feel.
Start cooking from a cook book, because at 42 I want to create more in the kitchen than baked beans on toast and spaghetti Bolognese. I used to find it fun and I can do it with my husband or kids – it doesn’t need to be a chore.
Continue doing Pilates, mindfulness and walking every day – time out for me is good for everyone, I feel better mentally, physically and emotionally.
The focus here is on you and what you want to change (or not) about yourself to make you feel better personally.
- Reflect, Set Goals, Monitor
Setting yourself up for your business success does not need to be a long drawn out process (especially as you are still on holiday), though putting a few steps in place will allow you to stay focused on activities which influence your achievement of significant ‘big rock’ goals.
Reflect – What worked well in 2017? What were your major achievements? What didn’t go so well? What could you have done differently? What were the key learnings?
Set Goals – What are the 3-5 outcomes that we must achieve this year to achieve success and why?
Monitor – Having written your goals, diarise to review them every month… don’t hide them away. Share them and check how you are tracking regularly.
If you would value a guiding hand to keep you on track with your goals, I encourage you to bring on board a business advisor who can be your sounding board; who will help you navigate the road blocks which may prevent you achieving your goals; and, who will hold you accountable.
To learn more about getting advice from a third party “sounding board”, download our eBook “10 tips for busy business owners: A practical guide to running your small business better”.
Next New Year – when we reach 2019, pull out your piece of paper with this exercise and your notes. See how well you did with your personal and professional goals… remember, it is up to you – if you want to, you can.