Surely that was a typo in the title, right? We just wrapped up 2015. How could we possibly look back over 2016, already? Rest assured, it wasn’t a mistake.
So many of us get surprised by how quickly the end-of-the-year actually arrives. Sure enough, if you look at your new calendar, you’ll see it’s made up of 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8,760 hours or 525,600 minutes. Yet, for many of us 2016 will seem to have passed by more quickly than we planned. Having a plan is the key to making the most of the opportunities which lie ahead.
By now, you’ve probably looked at your business results from 2015. You’ve identified some areas you’d like to improve. You may even have begun to implement some new changes. I’ve done the same for my business.
It’s important to come to terms with the fact that we tend to be creatures of habit. We easily fall into routines that are routine and comfortable. Routines, however, can be dangerous. I challenge each of us (myself included) to commit to doing at least a few things differently in 2016.
It may be helpful to close your eyes and visualize how you want this year to end.
- What will you have accomplished?
- Where will your business be?
- How will it be different from where you began?
That simple exercise may help you to identify a few of the things you’ll need to change. Some adjustments may be relatively easy. Other changes will require much more effort. Instead of getting overwhelmed by the enormity of the task ahead, take a step back. Can you identify actions or activities requiring little, additional effort?
You may find that it’s not the size of the step you’re taking, rather it’s the cumulative effect of steps consistently taken.
For instance, if I want my website to generate more business in 2016, I may commit to blogging more consistently. For some that could mean monthly, while for others it may mean weekly or even daily. The cumulative effect of consistently adding more content to my blog can have an enormous impact on the visibility and success of my website.
Another adjustment could dovetail with my normal blog routine. I might consider committing myself to including a video post on a monthly or weekly basis. Again, it may not be a wholesale change but rather an adjustment in frequency or type of post.
If one of your business goals is to generate a larger client base in 2016, you may need to commit to an increase in your networking activities. All of us tend to go to lunch five times during the work week. The adjustment may be a commitment to take one, new business prospect to lunch each week.
Achieving your 2016 business goals doesn’t necessarily mean you have to make radical changes. If your business is already achieving the solid results, any changes maybe relatively minor. If you expect significant progress and in 2016, you may need to do more.
Having the right mindset is your most effective competitive advantage.
The key to all of this is being willing to admit that you can achieve higher results. It’s easier when you’re able to commit to making these adjustments to your routine earlier rather than later.
If you’re going to achieve your dreams, maybe it does make sense to begin looking back over 2016, already.