From Drifting Along to Decisiveness
When you reflect back on the business year that just ended, did you advance from where you were the previous year, or is your business stuck in a “Groundhog’s Day” loop where each month and each year looks pretty much the same as the one that came before?
You know that I’m a firm believer in having goals, but goals, like New Year’s resolutions, are meaningless unless you’re making progress toward achieving them. With all the details that need attending to and all the problems both large and small that must be solved, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of dealing with what has to get done today and putting off creating your desired future. Without being aware, you find yourself just drifting along from week to week and month to month until at year’s end you realize your goals are just as elusive as they were at the beginning.
Achieving real progress comes from devising ways to measure it and making a conscious effort to focus on the activities that will bring you closer to your goal. Make a plan. Schedule those activities into your calendar. Determine how you will measure if you are making progress. At the close of each week and each month, assess your progress. Either you have advanced in moving toward your goal or you have fallen behind. The aim is to have more weeks and months when you are making progress than not. If you slip a bit, don’t let that deter you. Keep working your plan.
If you find you are not making progress or not progressing fast enough, you can make the decision to put more time and effort toward achieving your goal. Ask yourself what is getting in the way of making progress. You probably will discover it is due to inefficient work habits you’ve developed over the years. Commit to eliminating the top two or three. At the same time, identify two or three decisions you will make to increase your progress toward success and commit to following through on them. Repeat as necessary each month to develop more efficient and effective ways of working.
The longer you allow yourself to drift along, the harder it will be to make sufficient progress in the remaining time to meet your year-end goals. Choose now to be decisive and to work not just on what you have to do but on what you want to do. Change can be difficult, but the results are your reward. With each month, you will build on your success and create the momentum that will drive you to accomplish your dreams.