If you want to start the new year well your first few days back at work are a great time to look at things in your business with fresh eyes. Before you give in to the pressure of all the emails waiting for you, take a few hours and think about your business.
Here is a list of 5 steps my wife and I do to make sure we start the new year well in our businesses.
1. Review last year
Do this by checking against the goals and measures you had in place. If you have never done this before then you will be better able to review next year. For this year, ask yourself (or a team member), what went well, what did not. In the new year, what will you do differently? You can create 3 columns on a page headed: Add, Delete and Adjust. Use this simple template to help you do your review.
2. Set goals for the year
Set goals which can be monitored and measured. Financial goals are easy to measure and to know whether they are achieved. To win ‘X more clients’ can be measured too. To be less stressed is too vague to be a goal. Vague wishes are not goals. If you cannot answer the question, “how will I know when I achieve this?”; it is not a goal. Ask yourself how you will know if you are less stressed and make the goal around that. Your goal could be: Create and implement a plan to ensure I am less stressed this year. The plan could then involve things you can measure such as: to go to the gym 3 afternoons per week, or to go for a run before work each day, or to be home for dinner 4 nights per week, to work with a mentor to help me keep perspective.
3. Create a BIG WORD for your year.
This word will come as you think about what you want to achieve by Christmas. Imagine how it will feel to have achieved your goals. What will that give you? How will it make you feel? What will it take from you to achieve your goals?
My big word for this year is INFLUENCE as I step up my mentoring business with CEOs and senior business leaders. I have posted the word on my wall right in front of my desk. My BIG WORD has evolved over the years. In 2016 it was COURAGE as I faced down some fears that were holding me back. In 2017 it was ENLARGE as it was an important growth year in my business. In 2018 it was FOCUS as I had so many things happening and I had little room for being distracted.
Create a BIG Word for the year that summarises what you need to do and who you need to be in order to achieve your goals for the year. In one word you have an over-arching motivator that helps motivate you each day.
4. Create a detailed plan for the first 90 days (until Easter).
Break down your annual goals into 90-day chunks and work out the step by step plan you can follow to make the goal happen. Ask yourself what you must achieve by April in order to be on track for your goals to be achieved for the year. Then break it down into monthly and weekly plans. This way you will always know what you must do each day and each week to move your goals forward.
5. Create or adjust your daily routine.
So many people waste so much time each day responding to the demands of others – emails, phone calls and team members questions. It is no good having great plans when you do not have time in your day to do anything about making them happen. The power for your success is always found in your daily routine. Your daily routine is not just about your time at work. It starts with your going to bed routine and your morning routine. If you can establish patterns to your day you will find it easier to carve out time to work on your business not just in it.
Resources to help you start the new year well
On the ‘Resources’ page of my website I have some resources that will help you to start the new year well. There is a life-planning tool, a 1-year business plan, a daily routine template and a monthly planning template.
These are the same tools my wife and I use and are free for you to download.
My hope is that you will start the new year well. If you follow the 5 steps I have outlined in this article you will start the new year well. If you follow these same steps each quarter to review and then create your next 90 day plan you will be positioned to finish the year well and achieve your goals.