Are You Ready For 2019?
When this blog comes out we’ll be less than a week away from Christmas. While it’s important to pause and enjoy the holiday season, it’s also a time to begin thinking about 2019. I wanted to take a moment to share some questions you can ask yourself to see if you are ready for 2019.
Have you taken time to analyze 2018? – I mean really analyze it, the good, bad and ugly. What did you do right? What did you do wrong? Did you meet the goals you set out to achieve? If so, why? If not, why not? Where those goals realistic? Did you set the bar too high? Did you not challenge yourself enough?
You see, in order to really plan, set goals, and understand what is possible in 2019, you need to understand what happened in 2018. Once you do you’re ready to ask yourself the next question.
What’s your objective for 2019? – Notice I did not say “What is your sales goal for 2019?” or “What are your growth objectives for 2019?” There’s nothing wrong with those questions, but I’m looking for something deeper. I’m asking what you want the end result to be in 2019. Do you want a more successful business to be able to financially afford certain things? Do you want a better work-life balance in 2019? Do you want to prepare your business to sell in 2019?
These are all valid questions and get to a deeper level than sales goals or growth targets. What are you going to work on every day to achieve? Get to the “why” before you focus on the “how.” Otherwise, you can find you hit sales goals you set and end up further from where you actually want to be. As Stephen Covey once wrote, “It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in an activity trap, in the busy-ness of life, to work harder and harder at climbing the ladder of success only to discover it’s leaning against the wrong wall. It is possible to be busy – very busy – without being very effective.”
How are you going to get there? – Now that you’ve taken time to analyze 2018 and determine where you want to go in 2019, how are you planning to get there? Don’t mistake this for a vague idea of how you will accomplish your objective. Be specific. If your goal is to have a better work-life balance in 2019, what specific steps are you going to take to allow that to happen? If your goal is to grow your business and open a new location, what steps need to be taken for that to take place?
Once you think about these things write them down. There’s something almost magical about the mere process of writing down your objective and steps you will take to get there. It causes this plan to take on some life and this very small first step gives you a much better chance of actually achieving your objective.
I hope that you find these questions useful as you think about 2019. I find the time between Christmas and the New Year is great to go over these things and put thought to action. It’s usually a quieter time while many people are off on vacation and not thinking about work. By dedicating time before the New Year, you’ll enter 2019 with a sense of renewed purpose, an objective to aim for and a detailed plan to get there.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and for all the supportive emails, calls and comments at industry events. I am happy these blogs are useful to many of you. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and a prosperous 2019.
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