It just hit me this morning: another year is coming to an end. Another decade is coming to an end. Wow! What were your plans when the year started? The decade? Have you accomplished what you wanted to accomplish? That’s what I was reflecting on this morning.
The year didn’t go exactly as I had planned – does any year go exactly as you plan? I underestimated the impact of the tightened economy in general and the meetings industry in particular. Those circumstances were out of my control, though. What was in my control was boldly hiring a new agent, launching an innovative new initiative (ROI Speakers) and executing a creative marketing campaign centered around our first mini-magazine (TSG Keynotes). I’m very pleased with those efforts and wouldn’t change a thing. We didn’t retreat and hide in a shell. We took steps to strengthen the future outlook for our business. How will it turn out? Time will tell, but I can tell you that December was our best month of the year, and our best December of all time. That may not have been the case if we had reacted to what was going on around us and what the “reports” were saying, instead of acting according to the plan we established at the beginning of the year.
And that’s the lesson for 2010: Make a big plan for the year ahead; stay on course by tackling it one step at a time.
My plans for 2009 were big. My plans for 2010 are bigger. Will everything shape up as I envision? Probably not. Some things will turn out much better, some things will fall short. But as I was thinking about the year ahead and cementing my plan in my head, I came to the point where I realized, “That’s good. But now all I can control is today. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow. So with my compass set on the end result, I’ll take small steps toward in that direction today.” That’s all we can ever do.
I hope you have some big plans for 2010, and here’s to your success in achieving your goals! But don’t get caught in the trap where the plan is so big that you become overwhelmed and are back to business-as-usual by January 18. Break it down and take small steps – even one small step – toward your objectives each day. Then when you look back on 2010 next December, it will be fun to see how your journey has unfolded!