With the end of the year rapidly approaching and so many things to do – in business and life in general – it is tempting to keep pushing on and pushing on to GET THINGS DONE! Planning for 2013 seems to be THE topic of conversation at present and yes, I have been busy running workshops and working with clients on their plans for the year ahead but I’ll let you into a secret… I haven’t done my planning yet! And right now, despite all my best intentions, it’s starting to feel like yet ANOTHER thing to do… another pressure… another thing to fit in to an already full to bursting schedule!
Where are we supposed to find the time, space or energy to make decisions affecting our precious businesses at this time of year? Well, I have a suggestion to make – let’s forget about business planning for now (… see, it feels better already, doesn’t it?) and simply take a few precious moments to breathe, pause and reflect. I’m an advocate of the ABC method – Awareness Before Change – because it’s not about forging ahead regardless – it’s about moving ahead in the right direction.
In fact it can be downright detrimental to keep pushing without assessing and re-evaluating what’s really going on in your business. So rather than trying to squeeze your business planning into a ‘window’ somewhere between buying the turkey and finding the dud fairy light on the Christmas tree, you can make an effective start to the planning process by looking back over the past 12 months and asking yourself the questions below.
- What were the highlights of the past year – the breakthroughs, the feel-good moments?
- What will you celebrate about the year you’ve just completed?
- What were the lows – the disappointments, distractions and mistakes?
- How are you different now than you were at the beginning of the year?
- What is your intuition telling you about what you need to do next?
- What has felt too hard and difficult – what do you need to let go of, drop or give to someone else to do?
- What lessons have you learned this year & what implications do they have for next year?
- What is something you wished you had done this past year? What stopped you from doing it?
- What are you truly grateful for?
Excellent. Now you can relax knowing that when the madness subsides you’ll be perfectly placed and ready to create a meaningful plan for your business next year. Merry Christmas!