It’s Time to Plan for the New Year

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It’s really hard to believe, but 2017 is literally days away. Are your plans lined up for the year? Did you make travel arrangements you wanted? Are the business goals you intended set with set plans in place? Before the hectic days that lie ahead, perhaps now is a good time to take a moment and plan ahead for the new year. Inspiration for plans can come from pretty much anywhere, and the following article nicely articulates some key points that transcend industry.

It’s Time to Plan for the New Year
The new year is right around the corner. While you may be busy closing deals and putting those finishing touches on your annual holiday party for your clients, it’s crucial to set aside a day or two to assess your wins and challenges in 2016, think about what you want to achieve in 2017, and craft a plan to achieve those goals. Follow these steps to plan a successful 2017.

1. Prepare. English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge said, “He who is best prepared can best serve his moment of inspiration.” Consider your ‘moment of inspiration’ all of 2017. Preparation is a necessary leadership skill that allows you to face challenges without anxiety or frustration getting in the way. Preparation involves:

  • Reviewing the progress you made toward achieving your goals this year. What worked well? What would you do differently? What lesson(s) have you learned?
  • Visualizing what you want to achieve, whether it’s closing more transactions, increasing your income by a certain percentage or expanding your database (or a combination of the three). Seeing what you want to achieve will help you take action to make it a reality.
  • Practicing your dialogues, doing your lead-generating activities and consistently sending your marketing flyers will allow you to better serve your clients, setting the stage for success. The more you practice, the more prepared you’ll be to handle challenges and unexpected events that arise.

2. Set Goals. Goals are essential to success. When you set measurable, realistic goals, you have a target to shoot for during the year. Increase your chances of achieving these goals by:

  • Writing them down. Studies show the act of writing goals down will help commit them to memory.
  • Devising a strategy. What tasks will turn your goals into reality? How often will you have to do them? What steps will you have to take to help you get there? For many people, it’s easier to start with the goal and work backwards, reverse engineering the process.
  • Posting them where you can see them. Whether it’s in your office, next to your bed or on a note affixed to your car’s visor, seeing your goals serves as a daily reminder of what’s at stake. A daily reminder boosts your chances of sticking with them until the end.
  • Adopting the mindset of a sprinter. By nature, humans are most productive when they work in short, focused bursts. We developed The Blitz training program as a way to help agents reach their goals by doing small activities consistently every day for a set length of time, from 45 to 75 days. Kicking your lead generation into overdrive for a set length of time allows you to be more productive and effective as you serve your clients and plant the seeds for future business.

3. Make a Plan. Get out your calendar and mark down your vacation time, seminars, workshops and other important non-negotiable dates. Non-negotiables are those events you must attend, whether it’s a long weekend with the family, your child’s home games or school performances, or the annual motivational event you always attend. Once you’ve marked these down, you can fill in the rest of your priorities.

While you can’t predict when a setback will occur, planning may help to mitigate the impact, giving you the confidence to move forward. The process is made even easier when you use a CRM to help you stick with your goals, track your activities, view your progress in real-time and create a schedule that meets your needs personally and professionally. Set aside some time to plan for 2017, and enjoy your successes in the new year.

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