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Want to have your best ever year in 2020? Don’t leave it to chance…

Want to have your best ever year in 2020? Don’t leave it to chance…

11 Dec 2019

Amidst all the Christmas partying and festive activities, it’s easy to let the fact slip by that in just a few weeks we will be entering a brand new decade.

As one year draws to a close and a new one looms it’s always a great time to reflect and plan but when it’s a whole new decade it feels even more poignant. So grab a glass of fizz (it is Christmas after all!) and take a few moments to think about where you’ve been in and what you’d like the future to hold.

The very first thing you should do is focus on the successes. Quite often we get so bogged down into the day to day that we often forget to notice just how far we’ve come. Obviously, think in context of your professional development but don’t forget to think about what you’ve achieved personally. What have you learned? How have you grown as a business person? What challenges have you overcome? Give yourself the recognition you deserve and appreciate all that you’ve accomplished.

Once you’ve acknowledged the positives, have a think about what the challenges were and what lessons have you learnt. Don’t spend to long reflecting on the negatives but use them to think about what you might’ve done differently and how the outcomes could be have been better. Also think about whether the challenges are things that fall under your control or has the market changed?

Through reviewing your successes and challenges you’ll probably draw some conclusions about what things you need to change going forward. This is often known as ‘Pivoting’, but don’t think of this as failings, but as using learnings to enable you to pivot and move in a slightly different, exciting direction.

How to plan for a successful 2020.

Success doesn’t happen by chance. If you want to achieve your ambitions you need to set the goals that will take you there, share them and own them. This makes us accountable, determined, more motivated to move confidently to work towards our ambitions.

And yet, for many of us setting goals is something we just don’t get around to. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start and sometimes it’s that we lack confidence in ourselves to deliver on them so we shy away from it.

For me, the best place to start is where you want to end up. Write down the question: ‘Where do I want my business to be this time in 12 months?’ and then jot down, draw or describe what your business will look like this time next year.

Be as imaginative and ambitious as you want but do try to clearly visualise it and capture how it and you will look, feel and be.

How does this vision of the future make you feel? If you are not feeling excited ask yourself why? Perhaps the vision is not specific enough to make you feel it is a real possibility. If it’s too vague it may feel a bit intangible or ethereal and therefore you won’t connect fully with it.

Once you are happy with the vision for the next 12 months convert it into numbers and what it means in terms of pure hard cash. What does it look like financially and how much business do you need to bring in to achieve it?

Whether you are motivated by money or not, the fact is businesses need money and by having clear, measurable financial goals you can track and monitor progress of your goals towards your vision.

My top tips for breaking your vision into financial goals are:

  1. Take your 12-month vision and financial target and break them into quarterly chunks. For some businesses you can simply divide by 4 but others will need to account for seasonal changes and personal circumstances (perhaps you don’t want to work as hard over the summer or have childcare responsibilities to factor in).
  2. Break each quarter into individual months. Again factor in any anticipated variants that may affect the numbers.
  3. Break the month into weeks.
  4. And then ( and this is the bit people rarely do) the weeks into days.

Most business owners go as far as the top three steps but stop before the fourth and that’s the one that really makes the difference. When you drill down into the level of detail that step four takes you to then you are able to take tangible, realistic actions on a daily basis. They’re small enough to be achievable and undaunting and you can track progress much more easily.

Decide on the daily actions that you need to commit to in order to achieve each month’s target. These can be number of sales calls, social media activities, networking events attended, allocating time to spend working on your business – you decide.

  1. Monitor, measure and tweak on a daily & weekly basis to make sure you are on track. Don’t defer these from one day to the next. If they are an action for today then do them today.
  2. Find an accountability buddy or group to keep you motivated, supported and committed to success.
  3. Review each week, then each month and remember to celebrate your success.

There are some handy questions that can help you focus on what you need to achieve when you set and review your goals.

What needs to be in place to achieve this?

Who else needs to know about this?

What support do I need?

What might stop me achieving this?

How can I overcome that?

How will I know when I have achieved this?

How will I celebrate my success in reaching my monthly goal?

This is a very simple process, the difficulty comes from our commitment, mindset and application. By breaking your Vision down into 12 realistic monthly goals with a plan of daily actions you will greatly improve your chances of achieving it.

It’s an old adage but a true one: ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’. Too many businesses fail for the simple reason that they don’t plan to succeed! Make sure you do…Opendoorz groups provide accountability, support and advice to members to help them keep on track with their goals. Our members tell us that the support they get through the group meetings is a key factor of success. Opendoorz currently has seven professional networking groups operating across Oxfordshire and Berkshire with more than 80 members. Our guest events are lively affairs where business owners and directors meet, share knowledge & expertise, as well providing support and motivation. Why not give yourself the best chance of success with your goals in 2020 and come along to an Opendoorz guest event? http://www.opendoorz.biz/contact

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