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Happy New Year! Hopefully you have enjoyed some time away from work and celebrated the Xmas break with family and friends. For many of us, it’s also a great time to reflect on the past year’s highs and lows, successes and challenges, and take some time out from the mad swirl of daily life to plan ahead for massive success.
Taking advantage of the long Christmas break to find some head space and get clear on your priorities for 2013, is a good way to focus your mind and physically clear the decks. It’s also an energising time to get rid of any clutter that’s been lying around the house for months (or is that just me?), clear your desk, clean out your inbox and get ready to plan the most amazing things for 2013.
Once you’ve cleared some space you’ll find it much easier to be creative and focus on what’s important. To help you structure your thinking, here are 3 questions to consider:
1. What needs to happen in the next 12 months to make you feel successful, both personally and professionally?
So, rather than focussing on goals, focus on the outcomes you’re looking for. Are you longing for more time with the family, dreaming of exotic holidays or want to build a higher profile with your business?
Do you measure your success by your bank balance or the quality of your relationships? Or, maybe, like me, success is about time, freedom and lifestyle?
Write down what success looks like for you and then the ways in which you’ll achieve it. Perhaps you want to build your mailing list, connect with more key people in your field, or write that book you’ve been putting off. Or maybe success in 2013 will mean going down a dress size or starting a new relationship. Or, all of the above!
Write everything down that comes to you, then prioritise your list into a powerful action plan for 2013.
2. What have you learnt and how can you leverage this learning?
Look back and reflect on all the notes from networking meetings, courses and workshops you’ve attended in the past year, and all the products and books you’ve purchased. Dust off those notebooks and scan through all the new things you’ve learnt. Consider how you can use that information to improve your business in 2013.
For example, you may have attended one of the Women Unlimited workshops and got pages of notes on getting more out of LinkedIn or Twitter. Have you taken the time to apply that learning to your business?
Perhaps a goal for 2013 is to maximise your social media interactions and improve your LinkedIn profile; participate more in relevant groups or use social media to build interest in your events.
Leverage your learning by applying it to your business and then teaching others. Write a blog post or record a video on how you’ve improved your LinkedIn profile using this information.
If you’ve read lots of books, review them. Share your thoughts on your blog, social media groups or on relevant forums. Take all that learning and use it to grow your business.
3. What worked well in 2012 and what would you do more or less of?
Take time to review the year and consider how you’ve done against the previous year’s goals. Are you making the money you were aiming for? Or had that holiday you were planning? Were the weeks you spent learning a new skill worth the investment? Should you take that area of your business to the next level or are there more rewarding areas of your business you should focus on?
Be honest with yourself about what’s worked and what hasn’t. Take a good, hard look at the best and least valuable uses of your time and the ideas that worked and things that could be improved. Build the insights from this exercise into your plan for 2013 and use them to keep you on track during the year.
Whether you work through these questions by yourself, or with your spouse or partner, you’ll get a clear picture of where to focus your energies and priorities for 2013. Better still, do your planning over a bottle of bubbly and toast all your successes and achievements of 2012!
How do you plan for success? Please leave a comment below with your tips for getting the most out of 2013. And, Happy New Year!