Jason Forrest is a sales trainer, management coach, member of the National Speakers Association’s Million Dollar Speakers Group, and author of three books, including his latest, Leadership Sales Coaching. Learn more at www.fpg.com.
Questions That'll Make 2015 Your Best Year Yet
Ask yourself about the what, why, and how of your next 12 months and you’ll find planning for success comes naturally.
January 5, 2015
Military strategists don’t wait until the battle is over to make a plan. They talk to advisers, examine maps and resources, and review enemy patterns. They think ahead. Apple doesn’t wait until summer to decide which products they’ll launch that year. It plans ahead.
That’s why now is the time to make 2015 your best year yet. Just like the most successful individuals, companies, and militaries, if you want the competitive edge, you can’t afford to wait to see how the first quarter shapes up in order to plan the year ahead.
“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.”
Have you ever noticed how, once you decide to get a new car, you start noticing every car on the road and examining the finishes, seat materials, and features in your friends’ cars? Suddenly, you have an almost superhuman ability to notice and retain information about what you’ve identified as important. This is what happens when your mind focuses its attention. It has this capacity whether you harness it or not. So if you don’t actively decide to fill that space in your mind, the world will fill it for you. And then 2015 will just be another year that happens toyou instead of one that you own and shape yourself.
You can’t control the circumstances coming in 2015. No one knows exactly what’s going to happen in the market. But the only ones who lose sleep over what they can’t control are the ones without a plan. So be proactive. Plan out your 2015 so you have no time to worry or dwell on destructive thoughts.
To get your mind on the job of making 2015 your best year yet, ask three pivotal questions:
- What do I want out of 2015? Consider the precise changes that will really make this year stand out for you when you look back on it later.
- Why do I want these things out of 2015? If you accomplish your goals, what is the deeper meaning that this will satisfy? Understanding the true motivation behind what you want is key to your success. The why behind your efforts has to be greater than the obstacles, sacrifices, and consequences.
- How do I get there in 2015? Do an inventory check to assess what’s working and what isn’t. You can’t do the same thing you did in 2014 and expect different results. If you want to change what you’re getting, you have to change what you’re doing. What new activities and processes are you going to adopt and promote to your agents?
Now that you’ve got your mind right, put your strategies on paper. It’s not all about visualizing and planning. It’s got to be about execution, too. Carry your written plan with you each day so it serves as your guide and keeps you from getting distracted by circumstances.
Finally, visualize yourself on December 31, 2015. This was the year that made you proud. This was the year of change. You owned it.
Obsession is good when it drives you forward, so get obsessive. Ask the questions now that will drive you to new, incredible places in 2015.