The close of another year is upon us. For some, it was record-breakingly good.
One thing that is true across the board, this was a year fraught with ups and downs -from higher prices, from employees feeling more confident about leaving for something better, political crisises around the globe and yes, from Amazon.
Did you miss some opportunities? I know I did.
The danger at the end of the year is that we can get trapped looking backwards at the mistakes, the lost opportunities, the wish I could have and the if onlys.
Once you go down that rabbit hole, it can be hard to pull yourself out.
Well meaning friends will add their two cents that it wasn't your fault, it's the economy.
You might grab a drink, put on whatever your Netflix binge of choice is, flop on the couch, like some Facebook posts and tell yourself that next year will be different.
Except maybe you said that last year.
That's OK. It's not something anyone brags about. It's personal judgement; a telegraph from your brain to your heart that no one else sees. It keeps you up at night, it leads you to bad hiring and a host of unprofitable decisions - whether you are the smallest, one-person shop on Main Street to the CEO of the biggest luxury brand.
The stress that judgement causes invades your sleep and jolts your awakening. Add to that the media loves to make you more fearful - especially in a New Year with a new President and you have a recipe for trouble.
Here's the good news, 2017 doesn't have to result in another year you shame yourself ... and if you'll give yourself ten minutes, you can make that a reality.
Here's the quick process how to have a great 2017:
First: Lance the boil
If you have a lot of baggage in your head (tapes of wrong decisions, thoughts of defeat, etc.), I want you to write it out on a piece of paper. Use as many sheets as you need. Please don't do it on your computer or iPad - physically writing it out as fast as you can is a hardwire to the unconscious.
Think of it as dumping a truckful of garbage.
Once you have it all out on paper, don't you dare read it! Instead, grab some matches and a metal trash can, or go to your fireplace and without reading them, light them on fire and simply say, "Go."
Next lay down with a book on top of your belly. Breathe deeply through your nose down to your stomach slow and deep enough to raise and lower the book. Do this for about five minutes.
So many of us are immune from our own bodies so you may have to force your mind to inventoy how you feel. Notice how your body feels lighter, your burden is off your back, you have a sense of release.
Second: Take stock
Ask yourself, what went really well this year with your business? What are you happiest that you accomplished? This is focusing on the good in a new way. Enjoy it!
Grab another piece of paper and a pen. Finish this sentence, "This year I want to _______." Maybe you'd enter, "take a vacation to the Bahamas," or "buy a new Audi Q5," or "see all my son's Little League games." It can be about your business, your personal life, anything. It's called envisioning! It lets you see where you want to be. Don't make it into a laundry list. Just write one thing.Make it very specific though and not something generic like, "have less stress." Yes, it's what is called creating a goal.
Fourth: Quick Gameplan
Now consider, what three things will it take for you to achieve that goal? Do you need to hire more people? Learn new retail sales training skills? Stop looking at your smartphone anytime it chirps? Find someone to pick the kids up after school one day a week? Whatever it is - only you can determine it. Write them underneath your goal.
How will you hold yourself accountable and stay on track? Write three dates on a calendar or enter in your smartphone, "How am I doing?" Do this with a friend and each be the other's accountability partner. I know this works really well for longer projects like wanting to write a book or add another location.
Sixth: Sleep on it
Place this paper under your pillow for one week. Each night, take out your paper and read it to repeat your vision to yourself and think about something you did that day to move your gameplan forward so it will reset your focus and mindset. When you wake up, before you get out of bed, think of one thing you'll do that day to move towards your one goal. At the end of the week, place the paper in a day-planner or file it in your tax receipts so you will be able to review it at the end of 2017. But keep the practice of reviewing your gameplan and envisioning your plans before going to bed and upon awakening.