It is time to start thinking about where you will take your business over the next year. For several years, I have chosen a theme word to keep me focused on what I am trying to achieve. For example, one year the word was “Product,” when I was focused on creating lots of new products. That single word keeps me on the right track, and working toward my goals.
Your theme should be one or two words that relate to your most important goals for the year. Examples of themes might be Organization, Focus, Influence, Visibility, Service, Revenue, Involvement, Delegate, etc. Here is how you can choose your theme and use it to help you achieve more in the new year.
First, look at your goals for the coming year. If you have not set your goals yet, do it. You can not reach goals that you have not even formed. Oh, and write them down. That is important. Print them out and keep the list somewhere where you see it often, such as your office wall. (If the list is not for public consumption, then put it in a desk drawer or print it on a card you keep in your wallet.)
What needs to change for you to be able to reach the goals you have set? Maybe you tend to start a lot of things and never finish them. “Focus” might be a good theme for you. Perhaps your issue is that you lose track of projects, miss deadlines or even forget to invoice clients. Then “Organization” could be the right theme. Do you spend too much time on things with no clear benefit to your business? Maybe your theme should be “Revenue.”
Keep your theme positive.“Stop Procrastinating” is negative. A better choice would be “Timely,” “Now” or “Do it Now.”
Choose only one theme. If you say that your theme for the year is “Focus, Involvement, Revenue and Organization,” well, you’ve blown the “Focus” thing right out of the gate. One theme.
The purpose of your theme is to keep you focused on the things you need to do to reach your goal. Print out graphics of your theme word and post them on your wall, your computer, your phone, wherever you will see them often. Make your theme word the background for your computer desktop.
As you make decisions during the year, remember your theme. For example, if you are offered a position on the board of your professional association, should you accept? The answer is more likely to be yes if your theme is “Involvement” or “Visibility” than if it is “Focus” or “Revenue.” Always ask yourself, “Would this choice be consistent with my theme and move me closer to my goals?” If so, go for it. If not, think long and hard before making that choice.
Although I tend to think in terms of a theme for a year, your theme does not have to be tied to the calendar. Your circumstances may change at any time, and your theme should change along with the needs of your business.
So what is your theme? My theme for 2017 is “CREATE.”