[Excerpt from article I wrote for M2 Magazine] Enjoy…
Ok this year is flying… Many business have just entered a new financial year and for most this will be really exciting given the obvious tough times we have been experiencing on the whole. With a new year, comes a time to re-focus. We should always be re-focusing regardless of the time of the year but a new year for some mental conditioned reason makes us re-assess where we are at with our lives, careers, and businesses. How about we work on a plan for you to maximise 2011! The year that the All Blacks win the World Cup, the year that we have an election, the economy improves (hope so albeit challenging start to the year on that front), filming “The Hobbit” starts, the year that you have the best year of your life ever…
Did you start the year with a new years resolution? Have you forgotten it? Most may have? But hopefully not. For the masses who have forgotten… Lets re-focus back on making 2011 a really great year!
Why will 2011 be the best year of your life? Well beyond knowing for the rest of your life “where you were” as we hoist the world cup, just like a Princess Diana or space shuttle or Berlin Wall or man on the moon moment in time… You are going to be focused on achieving what you know you are capable of.
There are 3 main ways that your plan for 2011 will be one that you can live up to. This approach will be applicable to your business, your life, your whatever. Once you establish what part of “you” the plan is about (life, work, your business etc), here is how…
REVIEW 2010 AND THE START OF 2011 (AND PRIOR!)
- Consider what worked really well in 2010 and up to “today” for you? Did you milk this thing for all it was worth? More than likely there is still some room to improve. If it isn’t broken, it does not need fixing, just potential improving.
- What worked really well for you in previous years (pick any year!)? Repeat the thought process. Some of the past will be worth remembering and picking up again, in a 2011 manner.
- What do you know that you did not succeed in to the maximum level in 2010 and right up to “today”? Anything from prior years still bugging you too, where you did not hit the levels you could have? So what can you improve on?
- Who do you really admire? Could be a person, a business, or a “thing”. Anything. Pick several. Look at competitors also. Scour the world, not just locally. The internet is a fantastic source of reference, one of the greatest inventions in human history… So why do you admire them? What “bits” of them could you take and bring into “you”?
- What burning desires do you have that you know you have potential in but have not made a start on yet??
- Pretty standard corporate business talk but doing a SWOT analysis is always a good idea on yourself, your life, your career, your business, your relationships, your whatever: Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It ties into the previous questions.
CREATE YOUR “REST OF 2011” BUSINESS OR PERSONAL PLAN
- People can get too carried away with a mission, vision, blah blah and have several theoretical terms that they focus on. Forget the theory… Pick a sentence or two that will describe how you will look at the end of 2011. Keep it simple and relevant. After you finish “planning” your 2011, you will need to come back to your mission / vision to make sure that your initial thoughts on it are still relevant.
- List the key aspects that will see you hit your vision! You will have come up with these during your review of your first few months of 2011, 2010 and prior and those that you admire and would like to be more like plus your “burning desire” list… You will need to give thought to what the most important ones are to focus on and also the timelines. Set a “deadline” for you to achieve the key “must do’s”. I suggest you add a few weeks onto your initial timeline; things happen that will take your attention. Got to keep the plan realistic.
- Assign accountabilities to the key items. If you are in a business, you will include others in your 2011 plan (buy in from the team is a must, otherwise makes it hard to succeed!). A life plan is all on you, albeit be great to have others “review” and see that they think that it is a plan be-fitting of yourself. A family plan needs to include all in your family!
- Review the whole plan. Does it fit together (should all broadly be heading in the same direction, no opposites allowed)? Critique it. Again, get others to critique it. You can never ask too many questions. The best laid plans that have the highest chance of succeeding have had a zillion questions thrown at them. Do not just blindly accept your initial plan, question it, is it realistic? Can I do better? Have I set the standard too high so I’m setting myself up for failure? Best to make it a stretch, but not impossible. Nothing worse than trying to achieve a plan and goals when you know that “oh my goodness, this is just ridiculous, I have no show of hitting even if I had the best year of my life!”.
- Ok now you can finalise the plan… So it should be achievable with a very good performance.
HIT AND EXCEED YOUR “REST OF 2011” BUSINESS OR PERSONAL PLAN
- You are not allowed to throw this 2011 plan in the drawer. It is to be a visible plan. Put it on your computer “sleep” screen, put it on your wall. Put it in your lunchroom, bedroom, meeting room reception, wherever it will be seen!
- OK you need to commit to review it regularly… I would be looking at it weekly and comparing how you are tracking against what you have set for yourself. Worse case monthly, but don’t do worse case, ok.
- As you review it, you will see parts of your plan that might need changing. A plan is to be alive. It can be changed, if the circumstances warrant it. Just do not see this as an easy “get out of jail” card where you can continually push down the level of goals or to do’s that you had set yourself at the start of the year.
- Make sure someone is holding you accountable… In business that can be your advisor, board, your partner, whomever… In life, use whomever you trust to keep you accountable, not some wet fish who will let you change your mind all the time and not have the best year of your life in 2011! So keep these “partners” in the loop and be totally honest and transparent with them. They will be a really big part of your future success, so let them know from time to time how you appreciate them doing what they do, and be kind, when you hit your goals, do not forget them, do something nice for them!
Ok there you have it. Follow the above and you should have a great chance of having an awesome 2011, the best ever year yet! I would love to help you so if you are looking for someone to work with you to help formulate the 2011 best ever year plan and to hold you accountable (= business plan or life plan), then just do it, make contact with me! firstname.lastname@example.org and check out www.businesschanging.com