It’s the holiday season and, as we close the year and move into the next, it’s the perfect time to create a plan for your next year of business growth. Does fitting everything together feel like a challenging puzzle to you though?
As I was raising our kids, every Christmas I would get a 1000 piece puzzle and we’d spend the next 7 days putting it together on a card table with the goal of completing it before January 1, so we could put it up or give it away to some other puzzle lover. It became one of the season rituals, and we always followed a similar pattern in solving the puzzle.
Create a Plan
First, we dumped the pieces and set up the box cover for the big picture of what we’d be creating. Next, we’d strategically look at how we were going to piece it together and create a plan. Then we’d look for all the edge pieces and start with building the frame of the puzzle until that was done. Based on our plan we’d separate the different segments of the puzzle into different areas and each of us would work on specific parts of the puzzle like a central object in the puzzle, or color patterns, or the sky until most of that segment was done. To complete the puzzle, we’d find the transition pieces that blended the segments together to create the finished picture.
We were fixed on the vision of getting the puzzle completed in a certain period of time, and I look back and realize that it was a teaching moment for my kids to see the bigger picture, create a plan, set a time limit, build the framework, work as a team, and take specific action steps to reach the goal. It was a fun activity we did together as a family during the holiday season. The journey of puzzle making was as delightful as the completed puzzle.
I’ve seen people give up on their big dreams because they never seemed to get closer, no matter what they tried. One error that prevents success for many is expecting the puzzle to get done without ever taking the pieces out of the box and plotting the course to put it together. They may have purchased the puzzle and have written the goal of completing it on a card somewhere, but the pieces still sit in the box.
If you’re not mapping your course to get from box to completion of the puzzle picture, if you’re not figuring out the first goal of creating the plan, then following the plan forward in strategic steps, you’re going to end up with a box of confusing puzzle pieces.
The same can be applied to launching your business, or planning the year ahead. Dumping the box is that first decision you make to put your business into action. If you’re struggling to go from writing or speaking the goal to actually “doing” whatever it takes to make it happen (dumping the box) then follow the steps below.
7 Steps That Can Break Through the Barrier of Inaction.
- Drill down to YOUR ‘why’. Revisit your core reasons for reaching your vision? Make sure they are strong enough to sustain your vision.
- Take an honest look at your beliefs around money. Are you focused on the current economy? Is fear and uncertainty causing you to play small? The idea of making six figures doesn’t mean anything if you only believe you can achieve $30,000. Set a goal and create a plan that stretches what is possible for you. Dream big!
- Create a clear vision of what you want to achieve. What will it look like? How will it change yours and others lives? Who will it impact? Is it a vision that gets you excited to implement?
- Get rid of the baggage from the past. Are you hanging on to the failures of past goals? Forgive yourself and experience the freedom of moving forward with enthusiasm. I love this quote by Denis Waitley, “You are your own scriptwriter and the play is never finished, no matter what your age or position in life.” So rewrite your script and let the past go!
- Do something achievable to reach your goal every day! Creating small goals that you can achieve daily will get you to the end result a lot faster than just talking about the big goals and never getting anywhere. Map your bigger vision and then practice reverse goal setting to create a plan for this year. Calendar the activities and tasks required to achieve that vision, making sure you have revenue activities mixed in with the tasks that don’t generate income.
- Enjoy the journey. When we put the puzzles together it wasn’t just about finishing the puzzle, it was just as much about doing it together as a family…the fun, the time together, the goal of achieving something in collaboration was all part of the experience. Be present in the moment and enjoy what you’re doing along the way!
- Practice the attitude of gratitude. Appreciating where you are and what you have right now will help you launch boldly toward your goals. Gratitude is one of the biggest attraction factors in life and business. Practicing a ritual of gratitude such as a gratitude journal or weekly blog post, or sending a card to someone is a great way to create a plan that keeps you in the mindset of expressing appreciation regularly.
Many of you will create a plan for 2014. Maybe you already have it written down. Maybe you’ve declared it to others. But have you tipped the puzzle pieces out of the box and started to take action?
If any one of these steps stands in your way, you will struggle with achieving your goals. I don’t say that to discourage you, but to challenge you to break through to brilliance and elevate to the next level in your life and business, and make 2014 your best year yet!
Happy New Year!
P.S. Need some help to create a plan for the coming year? I’m offering a 60 minute “Mind Map Your Plan for the New Year ” Strategy Session. Simply click below to purchase the session and you’ll receive a link to book your time. This offer is only good from November 15 through the end of January.