Happy New Year! Hope 2017 has gotten off to a positive start for you.
As reported last week, I spent some time over the holidays engaged in a bit of strategic planning for my business. It was both productive and energizing and I am ready to hit the ground running for a wildly successful year!
In addition to documenting my own strategic imperatives, objectives, metrics and tactics – which, frankly, may occupy me for the next one to three years – I wanted to also give some consideration to short-term action items. Rather than come up with standard fare “New Year’s Resolutions,” I recalled from memory an old planning tool I learned years ago when I worked at Sprint – “Start-Stop-Continue.”
Here’s the gist: You simply write down 3-5 activities you are going to START doing, 3-5 activities you are going to STOP doing and 3-5 activities you are going to CONTINUE doing in 2017.
The exercise is quick, relatively painless and provides a highly tactical list of action items to get started on immediately.
Unsure where to begin? Check out the list I came up with for my business and myself:
- …focusing marketing efforts on select industries with targeted outreach.
- …asking my network for assistance and referrals to share the company’s message.
- …being more selective about opportunities – both professionally and community oriented.
- …getting more restorative sleep.
- …reading more. I already read quite a bit, but I find that the apps on my tablet (solitaire, Words with Friends, et al) are, too often, my go-to distractions. This WSJ.com article reminded me of “the need to read” (thanks, Jon Willis, for calling it to my attention). What are you reading?
- …saying “yes” to every opportunity – both professionally and community oriented.
- …texting while driving (I took the “It Can Wait” pledge and I’m working hard to abide by it for my family’s, my own and my fellow drivers’ health and safety. Hope you will, too!).
- …using artificial sweeteners (OK, this one is going to take me awhile…!).
- …ensuring my family comes first – and making sure they know it based on my actions.
- …Networking and Connecting with people all over the world!
- …engaging with people, companies and organizations that believe in the POWER of building meaningful, authentic professional relationships to offer them workshops, lectures, coaching and strategic consulting services.
- …working for causes and with community organizations I believe in. This year, my primary focus will be on American Public Square (bringing together non-like-minded people to have civil dialogue about potentially polarizing issues), SevenDays (promoting interfaith dialogue among all people to discover commonalities and overcome evil with acts of kindness), Village Shalom (a continuing care retirement community that welcomes residents of all faiths and backgrounds) and the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas City (providing customized creative strategies to help individuals and families give smarter and to build charitable resources for the future).
- …exercising and eating right. Thanks to the JCC, my personal trainer, Peggy, and the My Fitness Pal app, this one has become a great habit!
So, now you know what I will be doing this year. How about you? If you create your own Start-Stop-Continue list and send me a copy, I’ll check in with you from time-to-time to see how things are going (I also promise to keep your list confidential, so no worries there!) – be sure to enter your name and “Start-Stop-Continue” in the subject line. Let’s hit the ground running together in 2017 and hold one another accountable. I’m game… are you?