Preparing for a new era of growth
“There ought to be one time each year when you pull out all the stops and see just how good you can be.” Joe D. Willard, CLU
I agree with Joe. Once each year we ought to really go for it. He has successfully followed his own advice for as long as I’ve known him with great results. For some people the time to give it their all is their annual sales contest. For others it is the new year. Our society has become accustomed to making New Year’s resolutions. The problem is we have not become as accustomed to keeping them.
Regardless when your preferred time is, here is my suggestion for getting started. Before you go all out, schedule a “Rethinking Week”. Mine is the week between Christmas and New Year’s. During this usually slow business week I set aside up to 60% of each day just for “rethinking.” We all know that the thinking must change before the behavior will change. So I start over every year by rethinking myself, my business and my relationships. It’s amazing how well this can keep you on track over the years.
Here’s how it works.
The week before Rethinking Week, start keeping notes of your thoughts about what is working and what is not and where you feel the most and least effectiveness. Then inform your coworkers that you will not be available during most of the workday next week. They learn what hours will be available and plan for that. Amazingly you’ll still get all the priorities handled.
It should be understood that this is to be a joyful week, not a week of hard work. Take each day casually and be a friend to yourself. Find a place where you can work undistracted, but not a dungeon. Have lots of sunlight, go for a walk as you think, play your favorite music, enjoy snacks and refreshments you love. Think as you exercise, listen to tapes which inspire you as you take breaks. Surround yourself with pleasant and supportive influences. By the end of the week you will be ready to get into action.
On the first day of the week review your records from prior years. Look for what you did best, worst and what cycles or patterns you can notice.
For Day Two identify the major categories you want to rethink. These include such things as: health, relationships, finances, family, friends and professional growth. How could you live more fully? Note the things in each area that you wish to: Start, Stop, Continue and Change.
On Day Three ask yourself, in each category, “If I got all the breaks just how good could it be?” What are the ultimate possibilities for you? List the dreams and goals with no thought as to exactly how you’ll achieve them.
In Day Four start consulting the people who will help you achieve the goals and delegate their portions of the planning.
By Day Five the goals are everywhere.This is where you start sorting the goals into groupings so you can complete your plans. If you do your job well enough during Rethinking Week, the plans will come almost automatically. Planning is easy when your values and goals are clear. Days Six and Seven are for rest. Do something else.
Every great achievement was preceeded by a time of in depth thinking. Spend a little time with yourself, I think you’ll like it. Then when you hit the achievement trail you will hit the ground running. You’ll be amazed at just how good you can be.