2014 is drawing to a close. The autumnal storms are beginning to batter the United Kingdom. There is talk of a hard winter here in the South West, with heavy snow falls, perhaps lasting as long as ninety days. The question now is whether you and your business go into hibernation or, alternatively, you make those last minute efforts to achieve the goals that you made at the begining of the year.
Now if you have left it this late before starting to achieve your goals for 2014 then, unless those goals were not very challenging, there is very little chance of you achieving them. However, that is not to say that you should not be taking the actions that will take your business forward in the next ninety days. There are things that you could be doing that will, at the very least, set your business up for growth in 2015.
It is important that any actions you take are moving you towards your long term goals. In the words of the late Stephen Covey, you should “Start with the end in mind.” You should avoid taking those actions which deviate from those long term goals. So perhaps a first step for the next ninety days, if you haven’t already done so, would be to define your long term aims: what do you want to achieve in the next, one, three, five and ten years? Don’t forget to include personal goals as well as business oriented ones. Once you have done that you need to write them down. Writing your goals down makes them real, sets them in concrete if you like. Many people I talk to say that they have long term goals, but they are all in their heads. Unless a goal is written down, and you are constantly reminding yourself as to what it is, then there is little likelyhood of achieving it.
The next step is to begin to plan what you do for the next ninety days to move you towards those goals. Ninety days is a good timescale for your short term plans. It focuses you onto the things that you need to do that will make the difference. It is a short enough period for you to assess the outcomes and take corrective actions if you are going off track. So, look at three goals that you need to achieve in the next ninety days; any more than three will dilute your efforts and amay lead you to not achieving one of them, any less and you will not be stretching yourself. Make sure that your goals are SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time based. Write then down! Once written down, list all of the things that you need to do the achieve them. Then take action. In an earlier post “Get down and dirt and make your plans happen” I pointed out the need to take action. Without action a plan is just a wish list.
So, what are you going to do in the next ninelt days, hibernate or take action?