One of the fundamental lessons we’ve collectively learned over the last couple of years has been that anything can happen. Who knows what next week will look like, never mind next month, let alone next year?
Yet building momentum in your business depends on the clarity of your vision. As an established business owner, how do you plan ahead when you’re all too aware of how uncertain the future really is?
The uncomfortable reality is that life often happens while you’re busy making other plans. When the road ahead seems obscured with uncertainty, hindsight is a powerful tool to help you find the clarity you need.
Create Clarity Out of Success
Go back to the goals you set at the beginning of the year – what achievements have you checked off of that list?
⇒ What steps did you take to accomplish those goals?
⇒ What opportunities opened up for you and your business along the way?
⇒ If you were going to repeat the process or take it to a higher level, what would you do differently?
Finding the “Why” Behind What Didn’t Work
Reflecting on the achievements you created out of aspiration is a powerful practice that can help guide your next steps, but the goals you didn’t get have insight to offer, too. Instead of beating yourself up over unaccomplished objectives, turn your focus to why they didn’t work out.
⇒ Was something about the idea incomplete or out of alignment?
⇒ Was it missteps along the way that led you to miss the mark?
⇒ Is it still something you want to make happen?
When you’re willing to learn from what doesn’t work, you turn misses and mistakes into lessons learned. Sometimes priorities shift, unexpected opportunities open up, and plans change along the way. Getting clear on the why behind it all – and what you really want – empowers you to build your business with more intention.
Acknowledge Your Unanticipated Achievements
They say that life happens when you’re busy making other plans, and the same is true of your business. When you set your sights on achieving a specific goal, it’s easy to miss the milestones along the way.
Make a list of all the things you’ve accomplished in your business this year that you didn’t realize you wanted to make happen.
⇒ What watershed moments did you not see coming?
⇒ What brilliant breakthroughs came out of the blue?
⇒ What seemingly small steps marked a major turning point on your path to success?
Honoring the progress you’ve made, even when it wasn’t part of the plan, helps expand your perspective of what is possible and what you’re capable of achieving. Now decide what you’re going to do to celebrate those wins, so they don’t go unrecognized.
Set Your Sights on What Comes Next
Taking the time to reflect on how the past year has unfolded in your business, the accomplishments you’ve achieved, and the lessons you’ve learned, empowers you to bring more meaning and intention to set new business goals for the new year.
What is your big-picture, overarching objective for 2023?
Once you’ve set your goal, it’s time to get granular about getting there.
How will you measure success?
If you, like many of my coaching clients, are focused on growing your profit margin, that means deciding on a percentage point or dollar value to quantify your ambitions.
Then you need to break that big number down into a more measurable unit.
⇒ How many projects do you need to complete each quarter to achieve your year-end goal?
⇒ How many units do you need to sell every month?
⇒ What do your weekly, monthly, and quarterly revenues need to be?
Now that you know what the numbers look like – how do you want success to feel?
⇒ What resources or support do you need to achieve your goals without grinding yourself to exhaustion?
⇒ How do your personal goals for the new year impact your professional aspirations?
⇒ What steps do you need to take to ensure your actions are aligned with your values?
When you bring this level of intention to setting your goals and how you achieve them, you set yourself up to succeed on your own terms, and you bring more meaning and fulfillment to how you get there.