Most people have already begun looking ahead into the new year. Forecasting, budgeting, goal setting, planning, planning, planning. Over the last few weeks we have had the pleasure of speaking with hundreds of professionals in our industry at IAAPA and LDI. Most are optimistic for the upcoming year and some are simply glad 2009 is over. Over these past few weeks, I’ve often heard the phrase “Don’t look back!” Which got me thinking, “why not?”
Before our last company meeting, Jim Carstensen, our Director of Engineering, spent time reflecting on and documenting Alcorn McBride’s Engineering accomplishments. At the meeting, Jim shared his year in review. He began by looking at where the group had decided to go and recapped where they ended up. Not surprisingly, the team had accomplished everything they set out to do and much more. (Just look at the new products we released in 2009-all Jim’s group!) Looking back he noted the challenges, setbacks, and the many successes. After Jim captured the past, he was better able to plan his year ahead.
So where are you with 2010 planning? If you haven’t taken the time to look back, it’s an exercise worth doing. (Just ask Jim!) Here are five easy steps:
- If you set goals for 2009, take them out and review them. What did you hit? Miss? (If you don’t have a list, take a minute to write down your accomplishments along with a list of things you intended to but didn’t.)
- Reflect on the process of trying to achieve each goal. What worked? What didn’t work? What could you have done better? What did you learn? Don’t dwell on the things that didn’t go so smoothly. Instead, recognize them and write out action steps to make sure things happen differently in the future.
- Most importantly, consider the people. Who helped you? Who was instrumental in the learning process? What makes them successful? Also, who slowed you down and why?
- Bask! Thank the people who helped you and take time to recognize your accomplishments no matter how big or small.
- Use this info to plan ahead, set your goals, and take action. There are many highly regarded guru’s on goal setting, financial planning, etc, so I’ll leave those tips to them. (google Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield…)
Thank you Jim, for setting a great example. As you move forward and take time to look back, please feel free to post your 2009 successes below.