Monday, December 31, 2007

The final day of 2007

Another year is ending and we have two opportunities with that. First we can review the past year and evaluate our performance. We can learn much from that exercise. It can be a significant help in putting together a course of change, an opportunity to tweak things just a bit, or a validation that we should continue doing what we did this year into next year.

Our second opportunity is to create a course for the new year. We get a fresh start, a chance to begin all over again. It is sort of like a new game. The buzzer has sounded on the last one, and now we can take the field again and start from scratch. I know it isn't quite that cut and dried, but you get my drift. It is a chance to make a difference in our direction and ultimately our success.

The key is to stop long enough to do some meaningful reflection and review of how the year really was in 2007. Did you achieve your goals? Did you accomplish all you had intended? If not, what were the blockers? Put down on paper your evaluation - you won't remember it if you don't. One of the most valuable things we can get from the past is lessons we learn, often the hard way. But if we don't record them we often have to learn them over and over and there is no sense in that. Once should be enough for any of us to learn hard lessons. So create a place to store those year end evaluations and reflections and review the learnings often.

If you had a business plan for the year - that is the place to start. Which things were you successful with and which came up a bit short. That is important as you chart the course for the new year. If you had a leadership or life plan, you need to do the same with those. Make sure you evaluate how you did in comparison to the goals you set and note what you learned. Have the blockers been removed yet or do you need to find a way around them? There is so much you can learn by just stopping and evaluating.

You have an opportunity to chart a new year just ahead. But before you do, make sure you stop and learn all you can from the past. We should never dwell on where we have been. But we certainly should not ignore the value of what we can learn from that either.

I wish you blessing and success in 2008! Much of that happens based on how well you prepare and plan. Then it comes down to EXECUTION!

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