Finish Strong!

finish line

It’s late in the fourth quarter, and 2017 is almost in the history book.  With very few days left in the year, we need to continue to be committed and passionate to push hard to finish our year strong.

I generally compete in several running events and triathlons each year all over New York State.  Though I’ve gotten much slower in the last few years, my race day mantra (which seems successful to me) is always similar – get up early, be prepared, start steady, and finish the second half of the race strong.

As my friend JB says – Finish Strong!  Same in our businesses.

This year for the first time, I focused on reviewing my goals almost daily in my morning routine throughout the year.  The process of reviewing my annual and quarterly goals for 10 minutes a day really helped me to focus on important things and accomplish much more this year.  Even so, some of my goals are way off track.

The key for me is not to get discouraged.  As the year ends, we need to finish strong and focus on an even stronger year next year.  I am always amazed on how little seems to get accomplished in one year and how much seems gets accomplished in five years.  The continual improvement over time makes huge gains in our businesses and our lives.

This is a great time of the year to step back, finish the last couple of weeks strong, and plan for next year’s huge gains.

Here are a couple tips I’ve been using this year as I step back to set my course for next year.  I like to have my goals documented by the end of the year.

  1. Recognized accomplishments and failures over the last year.  What went great; what went terribly.  Don’t dwell on the failures – they happened, they’re behind us, and we can learn from them.  We need to address them, autopsy them, then put them behind us.
  2. Understand and believe in abundance, positive thinking, and limitless possibilities.  I see the enemy and he is me.  Think Elon Musk.  We need commitment and believe in a great future of possibilities.  I need to think more abundance versus scarcity.
  3. Write down 7-10 goals.  We are much more likely to complete goals that are written down.  The simple fact of just writing them down will greatly improve your performance.  We all know it; no one does it.  Have the top 3 for the upcoming quarter – again, written down.
  4. Rekindle passion and commitment to all projects and goals.  Staying with some of your projects and goals is sometimes too much.  This is why we quit.  We lose sight of the key motivations that we initially had.  The Why.  Understand your ‘why’ on each one of your goals.  If the goal isn’t a hell yes! – it’s a no.
  5. Stretch and be uncomfortable with goals.  This is where the growth and development come from.  Ask any high performer – they are rarely in their comfort zone.  Set stretch goals.

And keep yourself accountable.  I use Evernote and Nozbe (arguably the two best apps ever) and check my goals and progress weekly with a formal weekly review.  It is important to keep your goals in front of you and yourself accountable to action moving them forward.

Happy Holidays everyone – enjoy this time of the year.  I find this a great time to contemplate the past year, be grateful for simple things, enjoy our families, and set out a written plan for next year.

Let’s all finish strong together and go long in 2018!

/jon