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Do you have total clarity?

Now that Christmas and New Year are behind us, do you have total clarity for 2016? What does clarity mean to you – not just for your business, but in your personal life as well? Because, as I heard recently from the great Michael Gerber, “the reason why business owners don’t do the right things (once they know about them!) to move themselves and their business forward, is because they don’t care enough.”

What do you care about this year? I always start with the ‘stuff’ that’s nothing to do with work – the personal stuff. Where do I want to go this year? What do I want to do? Family, personal goals, that sort of thing, because those are the things we really care about. On a cold, February morning, that’s what’ll get you out of bed and doing the right things. You have to care enough about where you want to be.

So, how do you get this clarity?

Firstly, you need to know where you are today, both in your business and personal life. Take a piece of paper and put a line down the middle, and label the left hand side Personal, and the right hand side Business. List all of the personal achievements over the last year, and record exactly where you are now, your family, where you went on holiday, where you live, the car you drive, and any other things that are important to you personally. Next, list the business items achieved over the last year such as turn over achieved, number of projects done, profit, how much you were able to draw out of the business and any other important facts and figures that you use to drive the business forward.

Next, take a new piece of paper and divide it in half as above, but label it 2016 at the top. Start again with the personal items, and paint a picture of where you want to be at the end of 2016. Be brave and ambitious, as these are the items that drive most of us. Decide how many holidays you want to take with your partner and family, where they are going to be. Do you want to take the children to Disney in Florida, or the partner to Paris for a short break? Do you want to change your car or move home to a better area? List all of these items, preferably with approximate costs attached. Likewise, list the business goals, such as target turnover, profit, amount you can draw out of the business etc. This will give you the picture of where you want to be in a year’s time.

Now, put the two pieces of paper side by side and you will be able to see the difference between the two pictures, this is the GAP. You will be able to use the costs attached to the personal items for the 2016 to check if the plans for the 2016 business can provide for the personal items. If not, you may have to make some adjustments in the personal and business goals.

These goals will be SMART goals, which are specific, measurable, achievable, results focussed and time-bound. A goal is not a goal without these elements, otherwise it is just a dream.

Now that you have clarity on what you want to achieve in 2016, you must take the big picture and the main goals, both personally and for the business and l then break the overall goals and figures into smaller goals, annual turnover to monthly and weekly turnover targets and so on. Otherwise the main goals may look too daunting and unachievable.

A goal will not mean much until you start implementing your plan to achieve the goals. Take small steps at a time and soon you will be on the road to success. Make yourself accountable for these goals by sharing them with your partner, family, and trusted friends. You may even want to share the business goals with your staff so that they understand what is driving the business forward and they can feel part of it.

So, set a few hours aside this week to do your planning as I have described above and you will be on your way to a successful 2016, provided you implement your plan as well. Good luck and let me know how you get on.

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