Where will you be on December 31?

What are your plans for this year?  When December 31st rolls around, what will you have accomplished personally and professionally?

Stephen Covey wrote some classic business books in the early 90’s, and many of his tenets are as true in today’s work world as they were pre-social media and pre-iPhone.  For example, Habit 2 in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is “Begin with the End in Mind.”

The power in that simple statement!  What would happen if, in the craziness that characterizes today’s workplaces, we took a moment to ask ourselves a simple question “What would success look like?” before embarking on a task or project?  Visualizing the end makes it easier to take the steps needed to arrive at the finish line.

So, I’ll ask it again:  what are your plans before year end?  What will success look like?

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to spend some time thinking about the following areas of your business life:

  • Marketing and networking
  • Numeric results – revenues, metrics, client acquisition and/or retention
  • Stress level and job satisfaction
  • Writing, creating, and/or inventing
  • Self-development, skill-building, and continuing education
  • Hours worked per week
  • New initiatives and projects

You probably won’t have goals in all of these categories, but if you have identified some goals, take a moment to visualize and document what success would look like.  And, yes, it is best to record your thoughts somewhere other than in your head. Mind mapping is a very helpful tool for setting goals.

The important thing is to do as Dr. Covey sagely advised:  Begin with the End in Mind.

With every goal, there is at least one reason why you want to achieve it in the first place.  So, once you have figured out what success looks like, remember the burning reason why you want to achieve the goal.  Remembering The Why can help you stay on track when distractions inevitably arise that can tear you away from your goal.






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Dr. Melissa GratiasMelissa Gratias (pronounced “Gracious”) used to think that productivity was a result of working long hours. And, she worked a lot of hours. Then, she learned that productivity is a skill set, not a personality trait. Now, Melissa is a productivity expert who coaches and trains other businesspeople to be more focused, balanced, and effective. She is a prolific writer and speaker who travels the world helping people change how they work and improve how they live. Contact her at getproductive@melissagratias.com or 912-417-2505. Sign up to receive her productivity tips via email.

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