The New Year is upon us and it means the end to the holiday season, with all the festivities, and of course, the over-indulgence of food and football. For most people the change in the calendar represents the opportunity for a fresh start, a chance to wipe the slate clean, and forget the misgivings of the past year.
We approach the New Year as if we have an endless sea of possibilities and opportunity. Filled with optimism we make resolutions, set new goals and priorities, believing that, during this next year, things will be better.
Not so fast hombre. Before you run off all half-cocked, it might be a good time to reflect and assess on where you have been. In order to improve, assess what you did right and what you did wrong. If you haven’t already done so, now is a good time to look at both the positive and negative experiences of the past year before conquering 2014.
Where were you successful? –What were your wins? How and why did you win? How did the customer come to Know, Like and Trust you? What problems did actually solved? Be specific, learn from your successes so that you can repeat it. Nothing breeds success like success itself.
Where did you fail? – Be honest about where you weren’t successful. Did you give it your all? Did you over commit and under deliver? Were you “fishing in the wrong pond”? Were you simply out-sold? Looking at your own failures can be tough, but it is a necessary exercise.
What lessons did you learn? – I’m a big believer in continuous learning, continuous innovation, and continuous improvement. What lessons did life teach you in the past year? What did you learn? Innovation refers to the notion of doing something different. What did you do to separate yourself from the competition? How are you going to improve moving forward. Understanding these will help you grow and better position you for success in the future.
What will you do differently? – What you choose to do or do differently is up to you. My mother always said the only thing you can control in life is the 6 inches between your ears. That means you, and only you, control your attitude, your effort, and your focus. Your attitude is a choice, so make sure you choose it wisely. Put forth your best effort each and every day, and make sure you are laser focused. Accept the responsibility for your success.
So, how was your year? What do you want to accomplish this year? How are you going to hold yourself accountable?
It’s time to reengage and get back to the business of business. It is important to start the New Year with a fresh perspective. Start with an understanding of where you came from before declaring that 2014 will be your best year yet!