I know, it’s nearing the end of the year and we've habitually began thinking about what we are going to do to improve things during the coming year. Anyone who follows me knows that this is something that I do, not only as a habit, but because it gets me focused to step up several gears when we return to the workplace after the Christmas and New Year break. So I make sure I set aside time to make it as effective as it can be.
I also invite a few of my trusted friends to join me for a Focus Me Strategy Master class where we help each other set our goals and get fixed on our achievement and strategy for the next 6 months of our 3 year plan.
Obviously part of this discussion has to be some real truths about why we may not have achieved some of the things we’d set in place over the past six or so months.
You might want to join us, as we’re extending this session to include some new faces. This is because we keep being asked my others about the reason for the level of achievement we reach in our business and other ventures. Maybe it is time to share some of our secrets.
Anyway, I thought I’d at least start by sharing four of the main foundations or starting points for our Strategy Master Class group.
1. Be honest with yourself.
No matter what we may choose to tell others, we cannot succeed without first undertaking some honest review on what we have and have not been able to achieve from our objectives for the past six to twelve months. May be we did not even set ourselves any objectives anytime during the past 12 months. Or maybe we have, but for whatever reason(s) we have not achieved them all. Let’s not pass the buck, we are here (where we are now) because of decisions we've taken, so we are ultimately responsible.
2. Use the best questions on yourself.
As well as being a management consultant, I am a coach. One of the best tools in the armament of the good coach is the ability to ask our clients the questions that make them think and explore themselves, their behaviour and their attitude, etc. - the reason why? I’m talking about deep thinking?
For me, the basic foundation of these questions have to include the what, when, how, who, where and why. These are questions you can ask yourself.
However, there does come a time when talking to ourselves comes to a limit - because after a certain level of personal questioning; we need do someone else to help us. We should or could however, make a basic start ourselves.
3. Take the time you need to reflect and answer.
Although I will be taking the time to finalise, draw out and write down my strategy for next year now, the truth is I began thinking about my strategy and plans in earnest at least two months ago. Actually I’m usually thinking about my strategy most of the year, but not always directly reviewing it.
Strategic planning for me and my business is not something I tend to do all in one go, I give myself small periods of thinking and planning time, jot a few notes down and compile them together for consideration as I go along, knowing that I will have a specific time/date when I will be drawing it all together to set the things in motion that I want to happen.
Thinking, planning and preparation will, if you are serious about it, take much more time that a few hours once a year. Give your business, your career the time needed to succeed.
4. Get someone you trust to challenge you.
This is one of the reasons having a good business or career coach is good for us, we all need to be challenged out of our comfort zones. I have a couple of my own for this same reason – one for business in particular.
As human beings we are very good at telling ourselves we are going to do something and then coming up with lots of justifiable reasons why we have not accomplished them. I'm sure you' know that whenever we achieve something it usually starts out as a challenge to us. Well to stick with that 'challenge' can be scary and we can easily find something less scary to do with our time, but deep down we still want to achieve our greatest goals and ideas, even the scary ones. What we need is someone who will help us deal with the fear and front up the the challenge - and achieve success.
But going back to point number 1, when we are alone with ourselves, we have to be honest about what we’ve done or not as the case may be. A coach or trusted friend is able to challenge us on our thinking, reasoning and what we are really planning or say we really want to do. We need someone who has not other motive but to see us succeed.
I hope that this helps you in getting yourself stated on being focused for making the New Year. I hope it will be more successful than the past twelve months have been, and that whether it’s business or your career you will be working on you get your strategy in place, know where you are going and how you plan to get there and most of all that you have some good supportive friends to help too.
If you’d like to join one of our, please get in touch.