January 13, 2016

It’s that time of year again…

Well, the New Year has begun and before long it will be Easter and chocolate and hot-cross buns.

So before the year races away – again – what are your New Years resolutions?

We all make resolutions for the New Year so let’s not be coy – we did and so did you.  But the real question is, what do those resolutions entail? How realistic are they? How will you implement them?

In business as in life generally, we need to take a sensible but above all take a realistic approach to things.  As humans, we tend to grow the more we succeed and conversely, the more we fail or fail to achieve our goals the more we tend to diminish and become less confident.

Confidence can be all consuming – it can be the great driver of our achievements and allow us to establish our limitations if we are sensible in our approach to life and goal setting.

Setting your goals too high or setting goals without being realistic in relation to our abilities, our capacities and the general environment, is a course doomed to failure.

Be realistic. Be aware of your abilities and capacities, but above all be aware of the factors (known and potentially unknown) which are likely to impact the achievement of your goals.

Setting goals which are below your potential are likely to be more damaging than setting unrealistically high goals.  You don’t want to be an under achiever – you don’t want to sell yourself short.  So, before you set about determining your goals think carefully about all those things which are likely to impact on your goals – be realistic – be determined but above all be honest with yourself.

In your business, take the time to think outside the square and carefully work through the issues. Have a 5 year plan – this will allow you to review your goals and, if necessary, re-assess them. This will also allow you to determine if your overall strategy (read as goals) is on path, needs modification and what steps you need to take to get things back on course if your goals aren’t being met.

So why a 5 year plan?  In business a year can pass very quickly.  You need a plan for each year, you need goals for that year, but above all you need a long term plan.

Why? Because even a yearly plan is the sum of all smaller goals.  The short-term goals, which you make and which you work to achieve, then translates into the longer term plan.

Planning is everything. Spontaneity is not such a bad thing but it needs to be tempered; how does this fit into my short term/medium term/long term strategy? Spontaneity based on experience and vision is a gift – not all of us have it and those that do are just a little blessed. However, keep in mind that, like any business decision it can be undone because of circumstances (sometimes circumstances over which you have no control) so consideration and deliberation are the key words.

Experience tells us that achieving longer term goals is the sum of all the short-term goals you set and the decisions which you make to achieve those short-term goals.

Be enthusiastic, be confident and be optimistic, but above all keep a large helping of good common sense handy for when times get difficult.