At the start of a new year, sales results zero out and you think about what your year ahead will look like.
As we ponder it, we often think that the big sweeping decisions will make or break our year. But, as the great G.K. Chesterton tells us, it’s not the big things that are hard, it’s the little things.
When we have big decisions to make, we take our time with them. We look at the angles and weigh the possibilities. We consult experts, turn to trusted advisors, and run the numbers. It is only when we have digested the information that we make a decision and move forward.
As the owner or a business, as leaders or even as a team member, that is what you have to do – make decisions and move forward.
The big decisions are guided by our goals. They are shaped by what we want to achieve.
If you are a hard-hitting, high-achieving, go-getter, you probably have them already set! If you don’t, set them now! You know the acronym: SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely) and you don’t need to read another book or listen to another podcast before you go and set your goal for the year.
Just look at last years’ numbers, decide how much further you want to reach for this year, grab a sheet of paper and write it down.
Commit it to paper with a real pen and real paper. Engage your senses. Write it out. Even if you don’t look at the paper every day or every week, even if you don’t measure it, you will still make more progress towards that goal if you decide and write it out than if you just keep the idea in your head and don’t make the solid commitment of pen to paper.
So, an annual financial goal is essential to keeping your business progressing in the right direction and you have to have that by now.
But even more than that, you need to know what you want beyond the money. What do you want to celebrate at the end of this year? What do you want to SAY that you have ACHIEVED? What is it that will make you feel proud and happy?
If that feels intimidating or you can only really spot the financial results easily, here’s a trick to try. Close your eyes (yes, really. It helps!) and imagine that you’re at the end of the year. It’s late December 2022 and you’re standing with someone who has been a cheerleader for you, someone who has believed in you and seen you through the growth of the year. The two of you are having your favorite drink (mine is champagne, so that’s how I imagine it) and are making a toast to what you have done this year.
It doesn’t have to be fancy or clever. Speak from the heart. Put yourself in the moment and then just say what you would say to that person. Say it as though you have already done it – because in this scenario, you have! Instead of saying “we will” or “I will”, say, “I am” or “I have”. State what you have done aloud right into the voice recorder on your phone. Play it back for yourself and type it out.
There you have it. Your intention for the year.
Even if you’ve never done this before, if you trust yourself and truly put yourself in that celebratory end of year moment, the things that are most important to you will naturally rise to the surface.
Setting that intention is like adding fuel to the fire of your goals.
Give it a try.
You might be surprised with how easy it really is!