Happy New Year! Yes, I know it’s September and nope I didn’t have too much Hot Chai Tea Latte nonfat with an extra pump of chai this morning. There’s a reason for my happy new year greeting so hang with me please. We often wait until January 1st to begin to plan what we will do for that year. People begin to think about releasing weight January 1st but don’t have a plan to do it and before you know it, it’s March, June, December and January is here again. Others say they want to get out of debt in the new year and beginning in January they are going to pay off the bills, but they don’t have an action plan and suddenly it’s June and then end of year and no action was taken toward getting out of debt. There are numerous areas where people have good intentions to start something in January and end up frustrated by December because they didn’t set themselves up to succeed in advance. We’ve all been there right?
During the summer, I talked to my grand-kids, who are 8 and 9, about their upcoming school year in a more significant way. I coached them with planning out what was important for them for their upcoming school term. Once we were almost to the end of our conversation and goal strategy, the 9 year old said, “Grandma, now I have two goals for this school year and a plan to make it happen. I’m going to make honor roll all year and I’m going to make at least two new friends.” She then proceeded to tell me her plan. The youngest who is 8 years old, advised that she liked her sisters ideas and plans so she was going to do the same. At this age, that’s ok. Side-note: This is why good leadership is so important. She could follow her older sister because she had good goals and a solid plan of action and was serious about reaching her goals.
Truth is, time can get away from us with our full schedules right? So why wait until January to determine what your goals are for 2017? I can hear some of you saying, Lisa, I’m still trying to get through the rest of this year so I’m not even focused on 2017. Others may be saying, Lisa, January is when the new year begins so that’s when I’ll focus on my goals for next year. I get it. That was me for most of my adult life until about 5 years ago when I began to use September to get in gear for the coming year. What a difference that made! However, in the last two years, it’s been the month of October. I use Sept to catch up a bit so I roll into October ready to plan for next year while still working on my current year goals.
I love taking the necessary time to pray, plan and prepare. I take time first to reflect and re-examine the pros and cons of the year I’m currently in — those things that made me say, Hmm, Aha, Ouch, Really? Oh yes!, Wow! and Thank You Lord! I examine them all — failures and triumphs.
I invite you to grab some quiet time now or the beginning of October and examine yours as well. Get the best out of your re-examination or reflection time. View your failures and triumphs with the right perspective. Failures are feedback — opportunity to grow not to stall out. Triumphs are humbling reminders not to quit during the times of failure and to celebrate that you are moving forward.
Everything that caused you to say Oh yes, Wow or Thank You Lord , use that to look back and see what worked for you in that particular area, and then see how you can build and improve on that even more for the upcoming year. As you prepare in October for the coming year don’t forget to celebrate all the triumphs of 2016 and be grateful, and then….celebrate 2017. Yes, celebrate it. Celebrate in advance all that God is going to do in your life. That’s a wonderful way to exercise your faith and to show God your thankful heart in advance. And as you prepare for your personal, business, ministry, and organizational goals for 2017, don’t forget to prepare yourself for those Hmm, Ouch, and Really? moments that we all experience.
How do you prepare for those?
- Accept that those moments will come.
- Prepare your mind to be proactive in the face of challenges rather than reactive
- If you’re like me, you have specific go-to Scriptures that automatically surface in times of challenge
- Return to your action plans that you are going to establish beginning in Oct so you can stay focused or refocus wherever necessary.
- In advance, get an accountability partner or someone that you trust to give you sound counsel when the challenges come
- Learn now how to navigate through the fears that will surface. I cover that in my book No Fear: Fear will Grip You or Grow You.
- Remember, that you will come through the challenge — breakthrough will be yours if in the face of discouragement, you don’t quit.
- And if you have moments of feeling overwhelmed remind yourself of why you are doing what you are doing. I often remind myself through my hashtags: #LoveWhatYouDo #LoveWhoYouDoItFor
Remember, it’s all about reducing, and in some cases eliminating fatigue, frustration and feelings of being overwhelmed by preparing yourself as much as possible now. I’d love to hear your approach to the coming year and any tips that you can share.
Have a great end of year!