In my earlier corporate career and during the last 7 years running my own businesses, I’ve been shocked at how few individuals in both small and much larger companies plan before a new year begins. As a little Christmas token, here are six of my proven methods to get you ahead before 2019 begins!

For me it is essential to plan ahead before any year or performance period begins. Business for many of us is consistently tough and busy, so this is easier said than done, but it is very possible one small step at a time!

  1. By having clear, specific goals and prioritised tasks before passing ‘go’, then you and those around you will more likely maximise focus and clarity to give yourselves the best chance of not just meeting expectations, but exceeding them! Please ensure your goals are SMART from the start – anything less than SMART goals invites poor focus and unfulfilled potential. Example: to increase sales revenue in 2019 from existing customers by £250,000 above our 2018 achievement. Google SMART goals if unsure…
  2. I also can recommend not just having some goals and a standard business plan. By all means start with them, just ensure your next task is to convert the goals and plans into a one page calendarised action plan. You can break everything into realistic, bite size and step by step tasks with;
    WHAT success will look like for each task or priority
    WHO will do what
    WHEN they will do it
    HOW they will do it
    BARRIERS to consider and plan around
    SUPPORT REQUIRED to ensure the best chance of success outcomes from the activities.
  3. Bullet proof the goals, business plan and action map across the business/team. If facilitated effectively then you’ll be surprised at how many new ideas, or other improvements can arise from close or even much further corners of your team or business! What do they like about the plans, what don’t they like, what is missing or in other words how can the plans be improved?
  4. Don’t forget your strengths! This is one of several quick wins I find in even the most successful businesses. It’s a common focus in business and life to regularly seek out weaknesses in order to remove or mitigate them. That’s great and very important, however, I strongly endorse that it’s easier to gain greater outputs from time spent getting better at your strengths as well as to create ways of using those strengths more often and over more hours!
  5. The stop-start-continue model is a simple and very effective tool to help engrain this ethos into your life, career or business. Start small by adding into your action map two things you can stop doing, two things to continue doing and two things to start doing.
  6. This is great… you’ve got some great goals, plans and actions, to start the year/period as best as you can! The next piece is to get on and do it, but also remember that effective planning is an ongoing activity. Please ensure you create regular check-in points to stress test progress and refine the action plan!

In summary, I strongly encourage you to get better at setting more effective goals before a new year or other performance period begins, as well as to constantly refine efforts during said period. If the above points are new to you, then please give them a go, and let me know what you think. As a guarantee from me, then if the above doesn’t prove effective for you, then give me a shout and I’ll provide you with a complimentary ‘Success Acceleration Session’ to make it up to you by establishing some better solutions!

Good luck with 2.5 weeks until the new calendar year begins, and please ensure you enjoy Christmas with your loved ones too!