Jump Start the New Year

Planning for the New Year is both invigorating and daunting at the same time. It seems like every year we get to December and ask ourselves the same question: "where did the year go"? While we're still pondering that question, there's a vague recollection about some stuff we decided...nay, resolved to do this year. But what was it? Even though the year flew by, the day (probably January 1st) that we made those resolutions seems like a past lifetime ago! So, how can we make this year different? Get a jump on 2013 by setting your business goals now.

The sense of momentum you will gain by getting things going early in the year will create a sense of confidence that will carry throughout the remainder of the year. A great way to jumpstart your New Year is by writing down your goals and objectives for the year right now, in December before the New Year even begins. It doesn't have to fancy either, just follow the rules of goal setting: make sure your goals are specific, attainable, governed by time lines and written down. You can do this on a Post It note if you have to! You'll feel prepared and confident, maybe even allowing you the headspace to relax during the downtime of the Holiday break.

But what if you don't know what you want to achieve next year? That's not uncommon at all. Consider this; goals are set by people who take time to consider what they want, build a plan, and execute that plan. Goals are anything you hope to accomplish. The first step is to think about those areas in your life (business or personal) that are bugging you (technical jargon) and think about how to 'de-bug' them. Sounds simple enough, right? Of course it's not quite that easy all the time, however identifying the areas for improvement put you one heck of a lot closer to resolution than not having them clear in your mind. Right?

Business is just a business, not your entire life. So make sure that your business goals are clear, achievable, and easy to remember. Goals that are too big are those beyond your skills, knowledge, and capabilities, or even beyond your control and influence and they will only serve to stress you out. Most likely you'll block them out of your mind completely because the stress of not attaining them will be more than your brain can handle. You'll face next December with a sense of failure instead of accomplishment...not good.

Goals may include areas of competency development, such as learning new technology or skills. Ideally they connect with your interests in a way that feeds your professional life instead of draining all of your energy. Bringing fresh ideas and approaches to what you do can brighten your outlook with renewed optimism and energize your days (even the 14 hour ones)!

Life is a journey from where you are to where you want to be, and it is about different things at different times. So, your goals along the way will change and adapt to your specific circumstances and life experiences. Goals are meant to serve as an aid in life's journey so be realistic about where you are, be clear about where you want to go, and be patient with yourself as you find your way there!

All the best from your friends David and Erik at SMA Reserves!