You now have a plan to increase your productivity in the new year. You also know exactly where you are going. Now, you need to chart a course.
You’ll begin by returning to each of the six balanced living quadrants and the individual goals you will take to increase your productivity in the new year.
To recap, you were to craft 2 – 3 specific, measurable, goals or desired achievements, for each of the following:
- Personal (self)
- Personal (family)
- Personal (other relationships)
- Professional (self)
- Professional (company/business)
- Community (altruism/giving back)
Now, let’s chart a course for success!
For each goal, to best increase your productivity, you will want to outline 2 – 3 specific actions you will take toward its achievement.
Very important in this step is that the steps are NOT measurable—except by completion.
For example, if you own your business (or are in charge of a sales department), a goal in the professional (company/business) quadrant may be to, “Increase sales by 40% this year.”
For this goal, saying you will “Increase sales by 10% in Q1,” is not an action item/step. It could be another goal, but it’s not an action. On the other hand, an “action” toward your goal, would be to make 100 cold calls a day.
Getting this right is crucial. Likewise, deciding on the right actions (turns in your route) in advance is important. So much so that it’s worth your time to do some critical thinking – and even research – now. Done correctly and with appropriate intention, outlining the specific actions for your goals should result in the achievement of the goals. Further, it should happen without ambiguity or unnecessary pressure.
It’s a lot easier to just follow the directions laid out for you than try to figure out if you’re making the right turn every time.
Go back to your goals list. Add any additional goals – or measurement standards – that will indicate if your actions are indeed leading to the accomplishment of your main goals.
As mentioned above, carefully crafted actions should be your turn-by-turn specific directions that should result in you perfectly reaching your destination. However, to make sure you are staying on the right path, it’s important to create landmarks or guideposts that will visibly demonstrate to you (and others) that you’re on target and on time
Anticipate roadblocks and detours and know what you will do if you encounter either of these situations.
While we never want to plan for failure, having contingencies is just smart. For each of your goals and actions, what could go wrong? Don’t dwell here but just consider what might not turn out just the way you want it to and what you would do if that happened?
What resources could you tap? What people could you turn to for assistance? What alternate actions could you take that would still get you to your destination? It’s much better to prepare for hurdles and not ever need that preparation than try to wing it on the fly and end up really and truly lost.
Consider the big picture – who can you lend assistance to and how can you help others?
Surely you’ve heard the expression from Les Brown, “You can always get what you want if you help enough people get what they want.” Without going too heavy into the Law of Attraction, suffice it to say that success begets success. Helping others demonstrates you are not afraid of limitation, thereby decreasing the probability (in many ways) that limitations will haunt you or hinder you in the accomplishment of your own goals.
Furthermore, there is definitely a law of reciprocity at work in business. This is essentially, the foundation of networking. Help others freely and should you ever need help, you will probably be able to find it rather easily instead of having to hunt for it desperately or frantically.
Finally, consider what you wish you could change about the previous year and craft 10 rules to live by for this year.
While you chart a course, these rules will become your “personal manifesto” for the new year—your “when in doubt” rules or guides. In other words, your words to live by to ensure you have no regrets when you sit down to do your reflection for this year, a year from now. These may be as simple as:
- Say no if I am already feeling too busy—my time is as valuable as anyone else’s.
- Don’t answer work emails on Saturdays.
- Don’t be available to clients after 10PM.
- Be 15 minutes early for every appointment.
- Say, “I Love You,” to my partner/children/parents twice a day, every day
Of course, the above are only examples. The purpose of these statements again, are to eliminate the, “I wish I would have…” or “I wish I could have…” when this new year’s end rolls around. Ultimately, success in life is about moving forward with intention and with a plan. This helps to eliminate distractions and detractions. And helps to better ensure our future success in nearly every area of life.