Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali

Yes, it is just about time to close the books on 2012. I’ve been thrilled to help a number of you with strategic visioning and planning throughout the year and have recently taken some time to drink my own eggnog as it were – going through my own review, visioning, and planning exercise.

It is such an important, enlightening, and empowering process  yielding both short-term and long-term benefits including increased clarity and focus, alignment, and greater productivity. It can also help you to stay sane, knowing at any given moment what your priorities are and why.

To that end, I’ve culled out three powerful concepts – key ideas and activities that have the power to transform your results in the coming year. For most of you, this won’t be your first exposure to these ideas, but I don’t think you can see them or hear them enough:

1) Define Your Destination
This is the most important, most fundamental step. It boils down to this: If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there? How will you know how to get there? Without a clear goal, a specific destination, your course is likely to be set by whatever wind is blowing at the moment.

To the degree that you can create a clear vision of your goals, of the life that you want, of the people you want to share it with, and the accomplishments – whether business or personal – you will achieve it. Write it down and keep it alive by spending time with it and revising it daily. It only takes a couple of minutes.

Individuals and organizations frequently make the mistake of going through a lengthy planning process only to have the resulting plan disappear into a drawer, filling cabinet, or the folder forest on someone’s C: drive. It needs to be top of mind all the time. Your vision should provide purpose and guide what you do everyday.

2) Create a Map
Now that you have your crystal-clear vision of the progress, achievements, and lifestyle you will create in the year ahead, you need to plot your course. You need a map, a plan. You know exactly where you are going, now the question is “how are you going to get there and when will you be arriving?”

Like your vision, your plan needs to be a living breathing, document; something that you review and revise frequently. Keeping your vision and plan fresh in your conscious and subconscious will help you prioritize correctly and keep your focus, creativity and unconscious problem-solving trained on your goals.

Break down the major goals, in each of the different dimensions of your life – personal, professional, etc. – into big pieces, between 3-5 major tasks. Break each of those big tasks into 3-5 smaller tasks, and continue until you have tasks that can be done in shorter periods of time – if possible, no more than 2 hours.

Spend a few minutes prioritizing your tasks and other responsibilities on a weekly and daily basis and schedule time to complete them. The simple act of putting it on the calendar will literally double your chances of success! Every minute you spend planning will come back you in multiples.

3) Fill Your Tank
Now that you know exactly where you are going, and how you are going to get there, guess what? If there are only fumes in the tank, you aren’t going anywhere!

You need energy. Creating takes energy – especially creating a successful business and the life that you want. You have to make refueling – creating energy for yourself – a priority. The more energy you have, the more energy you can devote to reaching your goals.

For most people (in my experience), energy creation is an afterthought if it is given any thought at all. But “energy, not time is the currency of high-performance” to quote performance experts Jim Lohr and Tony Schwartz.

So how do you create energy? It’s simple: sleep, diet, and doing things that you love. Most of us understand sleep and diet (even though we may not give them the attention they deserve), but “things-you-love” usually draws the shortest straw. Those activities are usually viewed as luxuries, as nice-to-haves, and as completely expendable when competing with other pressing items for calendar time, even though they are critical to ensuring that you are fully energized in all dimensions – mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

In the coming year, commit to creating more energy for yourself. Prioritize it, schedule it, and see what an immediate difference it makes!

So what are the habits, ideas, or key concepts that make you more productive, fuel your success, or help keep you focused and sane? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you.

Like to learn more about improving your performance? Download our free “10 Best Tips for Better Energy, Performance, Health and Balance“.

Here’s to a very successful, healthy, and happy New Year!