This is it. The end of another year.
For some of you, the next few days will either be frantic or quiet, depending on the business you are in.
I hope those of you who are quiet are spending your time wisely planning what you want to achieve for next year.
For the rest of you no doubt, January will be the time when future plans will be made.
Regardless of when you do it, you need to plan where you want to be personally and professionally this time next year.
If there is no planning or goalsetting, you will continue to meander along and take what life dishes out to you. You’ll be reactive, not proactive.
When you know where you are going, you can work out the steps to get there.
Do a Personal Stocktake
Write down the answers to these questions:
1. What have I achieved this year?
2. What do I want to achieve by the end of next year?
3. What skills, courses, people do I need to help me reach my goals for next year?
4. List the specific ACTIONS you need to take.
5. Plan in your diary when you will carry them out.
This last step is very important. You can have all the great intentions in the world yet if you don’t commit specifically when you are going to act, your goals may end up being wishful thinking and never eventuate.
If you are a leader in your organisation, do the same exercise with your people.
If you are a “big-picture” person you could set your goals for the next five years or more.
By the way, these same principles apply to your personal life. Sit down with your partner, family or whoever you feel should be involved in this process and set your goals together.
Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes
Christmas is an interesting time of year.
Some are shining in their successes and can’t wait to tackle the coming year after a well-earned holiday.
For others it can be sad, reflecting on the year gone by all too fast. They had good intentions to make this year when they were definitely going to lose weight, get fit, spend more time with the family and yet it didn’t turn out that way. They are burnt out by working too much, keeping too busy and not looking after themselves.
Goals were set, only to be broken because life got in the way. It was much easier floating along with the crowd.
Unfortunately if you float along, you could end up anywhere.
The Final Word
According to Henry Ford the hardest work known to ‘man’ is thinking.
Take time to think and plan so that this time next year you can happily trot off on your Christmas break knowing that you have succeeded in achieving the goals you set for yourself. You have taken control of your life instead of life taking control of you.
The sense of satisfaction attained by setting goals and achieving them will boost your confidence and motivate you to strive even harder.
Planning, commitment and action will get you there.
Have a safe and happy Christmas and New Year.
PS: Please take the time to read the following “Ode to Christmas” by Sandi Givens. It’s a great poem to encapsulate this time of year.
Ode to Christmas
‘Tis the season to be jolly
Deck the halls with boughs of holly
Send the cards, trim the tree –
I wonder what Santa will bring for me?
Buy the presents, wrap them up –
Should we get the kids a pup?
Purchase drinks and organise food
And do try to be in happy mood
Forget the diet (there’s always next year)
Enjoy chocolate truffles and be of good cheer!
Cover dark circles with extra makeup
And make sure you go to every Christmas breakup!
Be seen, be noticed, be politically correct
Arrive a bit late for that dramatic effect!
Run here and there, rush to and fro
Kiss people on cheeks that you don’t even know
Forget what it costs – put it on credit
Forget someone’s gift and you’ll really regret it!
And when your To Do List is empty and your jobs are complete
Sit down and relax – take a load off your feet .
Consider what this season is really about
Because I know in your heart there is no doubt
Irrespective of race, religion or creed,
It’s about helping others who are in such great need.
It’s about peace and goodwill to all people we meet
It’s about helping someone who may live in your street.
It’s a time to reflect on the year just gone by
Learn from experience and celebrate the highs.
Be thankful for all of our blessings and life
And pray for an end to all the world’s strife.
So during this season and throughout the New Year
May your journey be smooth and your chosen path clear.
Wishing you happiness and good health and company
And your life becoming as you dream it will be.